Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Ecology

Major Professor

Paula Carney

Committee Members

Debora Baldwin, James J. Neutens, Susan Smith


The primary purpose of this study was to assess the factors that relate to male condom utilization among sexually active African American college women at The University of Tennessee.

College women between the ages of 18 to 24 are the most susceptible to contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) as they do not perceive themselves to be at risk. It is estimated that each year 12 million new cases of STDs occur and two thirds of those infected are under the age of 25 (Hale & Trumbetta, 1996). Women are among the fastest growing groups being infected with HIV. In 1997, 22% of all reported new cases of AIDS were women and of those 60% were African-American. African American women of all ages were approximately 16 times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than their White counterparts (Wingood & DiClemente, 1998).

This study consisted of a convenience sample of 196 African American undergraduate females between the ages of 18 to 24. Participants were recruited through various student organizations affiliated with the Black Cultural Center.

The Health Belief Model (HBM) Constructs perceived susceptibility, partner, perceived barriers, turnoffs, hassles, execution relationship concerns, self-efficacy, and cues to action were found to be positively correlated with condom use. There was no correlation between HIV/AIDS level of knowledge, perceived benefits, and perceived susceptibility, self and condom use. A stepwise regression was performed in order to ascertain whether or not the HBM constructs would predict the utilization of male condoms among African American college students. The results indicated that 22% of the variance in condom use could be attributed to the HBM constructs. The strongest predictor of condom use was self-efficacy (beta=.257) and perceived barriers, turnoffs (beta=.232).

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