Purpose: To describe the prevalence of premarital sexual behavior and condom use, and to identify predictors of condom use using the expanded health belief model (EHBM) among vocational students in Bangkok, Thailand.
Methods: A cross-sectional correlational design was used with a cluster-based sample of 425 students aged 18 to 22 years from eight randomly selected private vocational schools in Bangkok. Anonymous self-report questionnaires were used to collect the data. Stepwise multiple regression was conducted to identify predictors of condom use.
Results: Overall, 49.9% of participants were sexually active, 64.8% of men and 32% of women. Of the sexually active participants, only 6.3% reported using condoms every time when having sex in the beginning of the relationship, and 10.2% during the last few times. Twenty-four percent of sexually active participants had unplanned pregnancies, and 7% had sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The predictive model of condom use consisted of perceived benefits from using condoms; interactions between intention to use condoms and gender: knowledge of STDs, HIV, AIDS, pregnancy and peer norms; and alcohol use and age. Adjusting for modifying factors, the predictor set explained 27% of the variance in condom use.
Conclusions: Most of this sample of sexually active Thai vocational students practiced unsafe sex, and many had unplanned pregnancies and STDs. The EHBM provided a modest predictive model of condom use.