Psychosocial correlates of heterosexual condom use: a meta-analysis

Psychol Bull. 1999 Jan;125(1):90-132. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.125.1.90.


Despite increasing incidence of HIV/AIDS, there has been no systematic review of correlates of condom use among heterosexual samples. To rectify this, the present study used meta-analysis to quantify the relationship between psychosocial variables and self-reported condom use. Six hundred sixty correlations distributed across 44 variables were derived from 121 empirical studies. Variables were organized in terms of the labeling, commitment, and enactment stages of the AIDS Risk Reduction Model (Catania, Kegeles, & Coates, 1990). Findings showed that demographic, personality, and labeling stage variables had small average correlations with condom use. Commitment and enactment stage variables fared better, with attitudes toward condoms, behavioral intentions, and communication about condoms being the most important predictors. Overall, findings support a social psychological model of condom use highlighting the importance of behavior-specific cognitions, social interaction, and preparatory behaviors rather than knowledge and beliefs about the threat of infection.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior*