Monday, 7 July 2008
Learning Objective 1: examine the relationships among attitudes toward condom use, personal characteristics, condom use self-efficacy, and safer sexual behavior through condom use among Thai vocational students between the ages of 18-21.
Learning Objective 2: identify the predictors of actual usage of condoms among Thai adolescents.
Among Thai adolescents, premarital sexual behavior without condom use is a major public health concern. Although condoms have been made available to Thai adolescents for more than two decades, their usage are inconsistent. This study investigated the relationships among attitudes toward condom use, personal characteristics, condom use self-efficacy, and condom use behavior among Thai adolescents. Also, the predictors of condom use were examined. The conceptual framework for the research was based on Bandura's theory of self-efficacy for the prevention of STDs/HIV/AIDS. A cross-sectional descriptive correlational design was employed on a cluster based sample (n=270) of Thai vocational school subjects (18-21 years of age). Data were collected using a variety of survey measures. The results showed that, of 270 participants, 180 (66.66%) have been sexually active. The average age at first sexual intercourse was 16.88 years (SD=1.93). The earliest first sexual experience occurred at age 11. Nineteen percent of the subjects reported that they never used condoms at the beginning of a romantic relationship. Twenty-one percent of subjects reported that they never used condoms during the last few times of sexual activity. The main reason for not using condoms was ‘not natural' (10.4%). Significant correlations were identified among those who self-reported a history of alcohol/drug use, attitudes toward condom use, and condom use self-efficacy on actual condom use. Eleven percent (R2=11.3%; p<.005) was the variance in actual condom use as explained by gender, age, self-reported history of alcohol/drug use, duration of the current intimate relationship, perceived preventive behavioral peer norms, knowledge of STDs/HIV/AIDS and pregnancy, attitudes toward condom use, and condom use self-efficacy. The findings of this study provide the backdrop for the implementation of nursing interventions that are designed to help reshape condom use behaviors among Thai adolescents. This study makes contributions to health policy, nursing research, and community-based studies.