Year of Publication

2014

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Richard Crosby, PhD

Committee Member

Mark Swanson, PhD

Committee Member

Ramona Stone, PhD

Abstract

Introduction: Due to the paucity of research that specifically examines the non-use of condoms, during sexual encounters, as a maladaptive coping strategy for stress among college students; the purpose of my study, is to determine if there is an association between perceived high levels of stress and the decreased likelihood of condom use during sex among students at the University of Kentucky. Method: The cross-sectional descriptive study investigated health behaviors and attitudes towards health behaviors in a sample of 7,000 University of Kentucky students enrolled in courses for fall 2013. Participants were randomly selected to partake in an anonymous online health survey. The study is geared toward gaining an understanding between high levels of stress and non-condom use during vaginal, oral, and anal sex among those students at the University of Kentucky. The variables measured in the study were all contributing factors towards perceptions of overall health. The variables of interest were stress, sex, and non-condom use; stress being the correlate variable, and non-condom use being the outcome variable. I am focusing my attention only on those respondents who have been sexually active within the last 30 days, excluding responses from sexually naïve respondents. Results: While the chi-square analysis reported certain variables were significantly associated with non-condom use for vaginal and anal sex, logistic regressions run for vaginal, oral, and anal sex reported that high stress levels did not appear to predict not using condoms during vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Conclusions: Public health practitioners should create targeted condom promotion campaigns to normalize condom use on college campuses and increase condom use regardless of the sexual act.

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