The interplay between feelings and beliefs about condoms as predictors of their use

Erin M. Ellis, Rekha Rajagopal, Marc T. Kiviniemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: Negative feelings about condoms are a key barrier to their use. Using the behavioural affective associations model, we examined the joint effects of affective associations and cognitive beliefs about condoms on condom use. Design: In Study 1 (N = 97), students completed measures of their affective associations and cognitive beliefs about sex and condoms, sexual activity and condom use. In Study 2 (N = 171), a measure of behavioural intentions and condom selection task were added. Main outcome measures: Condom use measured in Study 1 as (1) current condom use, and (2) willingness to use condoms; in Study 2 as: (1) behavioural intentions, (2) number of condoms selected. Results: Affective associations with sex and condoms were behaviour-specific, were directly associated with the respective behaviour, and mediated the relations of cognitive beliefs to behaviour, ps <.05. In Study 2, affective associations were associated with behavioural intentions and the number of condoms selected, ps <.05; cognitive beliefs were indirectly associated with these outcomes through affective associations, indirect effects: ps <.05. Conclusions: Affective associations are a behaviour-specific and proximal predictor of condom use, mediating the effect of cognitive beliefs, suggesting they may be a particularly viable intervention target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-192
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • condom use
  • emotions/affect
  • health decision-making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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