Because inconsistent condom use could put adolescent women at an increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases, it is important to understand when and with whom they use condoms. This study examined partner-specific condom use over time among adolescent women. The data were from a clinic-based, prospective study of 308 adolescent women who had at least one sex partner during a 6-month follow-up. Their condom use was examined with three types of partners: exclusive, nonexclusive primary, and nonexclusive secondary. Predictors of consistent condom use (using condoms 100% of the time with a specific partner) were explored in a multiple logistic regression analysis. Consistent condom use was more likely to occur in shorter relationships (less than 3 months) and with partners who preferred condoms for contraception. It was no more likely to occur with nonexclusive partners than with exclusive partners, and it was somewhat less likely to occur among consistent oral contraceptive users. These findings emphasize the importance of educating adolescent women to introduce and maintain condom use with all partners.
PIP: More than 50% of sexually active adolescents have more than 1 sex partner. Since the inconsistent use of condoms may place sexually active youths at increased risk of infection with sexually transmitted diseases, it is important to determine and understand when and with whom adolescents use condoms. Using 1988 interview data from a family planning clinic on 308 non-pregnant, unmarried women aged 11-18 years who had at least 1 sex partner over a 6-month follow-up period, this study investigated partner-specific condom use over time. 77% of respondents were Black, 89% urban, and of average age 16. Among those who had engaged in sexual intercourse by baseline, mean age at first intercourse was 14.5 years with an average 2.9 sex partners. 81.8% had 1 exclusive sex partner over the follow-up period and 58% had mothers who were themselves teenage mothers. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyze predictors that respondents would use condoms during 100% of sexual intercourse encounters with each of exclusive, nonexclusive primary, and nonexclusive secondary partners. Analysis revealed that consistent condom use was more likely to occur in relationships lasting less than 3 months and with partners who preferred condoms for contraception. Consistent condom use was no more likely to occur with nonexclusive partners than with exclusive partners, and was somewhat less likely to occur among consistent oral contraceptive users. These findings highlight the need to teach adolescents to begin and continue using condoms with all sex partners.