Examining the determinants of condom use among African American college students attending predominantly white institutions
African American college students at predominantly White institutions (PWIs) are disproportionally at risk for experiencing negative sexual health outcomes. African Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 are disproportionally affected by unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, which are associated with risky sexual behaviors, including sex without a condom. The risks and stress associated with living at the intersection of both African American risk factors and college risk factors may play a role in the sexual behavior of African American college students. The purpose of this study was to examine the determinants of condom use among African American undergraduates at predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). This study used the constructs of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to examine the factors that contribute to condom use. An added factor the study examined was the relationship between different types of stress and condom use. The relationship between stress, intention to use condoms, and actual condom use was also investigated. The study employed a cross-sectional design and used surveys to collect data on African American college students between the ages of 18 and 24 years old at PWIs. The survey was disseminated through Qualtrics online survey software. The sample of 202 students engaged in a range of sexual behaviors (vaginal, oral, and anal sex) and had inconsistent condom use during these activities. The study found that constructs of the Theory of Planned Behavior, namely intentions and attitudes, were independently significant at predicting condom use. However, the interaction between intentions and overall stress was more significant in predicting condom use among African American college students attending PWIs over the past 30 days. The study findings have promising implications for health education practitioners, university stakeholders, and researchers who are interested in reducing sexual health disparities. Coordinated efforts are needed to reduce the risk factors that contribute to unsafe sexual behaviors among college students, especially among those at greater risk such as African American college students at PWIs.