Intimate partner violence and condom use among women: does the information-motivation-behavioral skills model explain sexual risk behavior?

AIDS Behav. 2012 May;16(4):1011-9. doi: 10.1007/s10461-011-9949-3.


Intimate partner violence (IPV) undermines women's ability to enact safer sex and increases their vulnerability to HIV and other STDs. To better understand the relationship between IPV and sexual risk behavior, we investigated whether the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model differentially predicted risk behavior among women who had and had not recently experienced IPV. Data from 717 women who were recruited from a public health clinic showed that 18% reported IPV by a sexual partner in the past 3 months, 28% in the past year, and 57% lifetime. Women who experienced IPV in the last 3 months reported more episodes of unprotected sex and more episodes of unprotected sex with a steady partner in the past 3 months. Multi-group path analyses provided mixed evidence regarding the associations hypothesized by the IMB model; the strength of these associations varied as a function of IPV history. Thus, although information did not predict risk behavior for either group, motivation was associated with condom use only for women with no history of IPV. Behavioral skills were associated with more condom use for both groups. Overall, the IMB model is useful for predicting sexual risk behavior; however, for women with partner violence histories a broader model that includes other contextual factors may be needed. These findings can help to inform the development of more effective sexual risk reduction interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Battered Women / psychology
  • Battered Women / statistics & numerical data*
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unsafe Sex / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult