Correlates of condom breakage and slippage among university undergraduates

William L. Yarber, Cynthia A. Graham, Stephanie A. Sanders, Richard A. Crosby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


An anonymous questionnaire was used to explore relationships between condom breakage, slippage and possible correlates in a sample of 428 single, never-married college men and women. Specific condom use errors and problems that could lead to breakage and slippage were also examined. A three-month recall period was used. Breakage/slippage was found to be associated with never receiving instruction on correct condom use (P = 0.001), more than one sex partner (P = 0.001), more frequent use of condoms (P = 0.001), and partner(s) being less than highly motivated to use condoms (P = 0.02). Those reporting that condoms had contacted a sharp object were three times as likely to report breakage (P = 0.001). Those using condoms without proper lubrication (P = 0.006) and those experiencing loss of erection during sex (P = 0.001) were more likely to report slippage. Further research should investigate the efficacy of instruction addressing specific factors that may reduce the incidence of breakage/slippage, thereby enhancing condom effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-472
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Condoms
  • Prevention
  • Sexual behaviour
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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