Do intentions predict condom use? Meta-analysis and examination of six moderator variables

Br J Soc Psychol. 1998 Jun:37 ( Pt 2):231-50. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8309.1998.tb01167.x.


This study used meta-analysis to quantify the relationship between intentions and behaviour in prospective studies of condom use. The effects of six moderator variables were also examined: sexual orientation, gender, sample age, time interval, intention versus expectation and condom use with 'steady' versus 'casual' partners. Literature searches revealed 28 hypotheses based on a total sample of 2532 which could be included in the review. Overall, there was a medium to strong sample-weighted average correlation between intentions and condom use (r+ = .44), and this correlation was similar to the effect sizes obtained in previous reviews. There were too few studies of gay men to permit meaningful comparison of effect sizes between homosexual versus heterosexual samples. Gender and measurement of intention did not moderate the intention-behaviour relationship. However, shorter time intervals, older samples and condom use with 'steady' rather than 'casual' partners were each associated with stronger correlations between intentions and condom use. Factors which might explain the significant effects of moderator variables are discussed and implications of the study for future research on intention-behaviour consistency are outlined.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Condoms*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Education
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Partners