Words can hurt: The effects of physical and psychological partner violence on condom negotiation and condom use among young women


Physical and psychological intimate partner violence (IPV) are prevalent on college campuses and may affect young women’s condom use behavior. This study explored condom negotiation as a mediator of the relation of physical and psychological IPV to condom use among college women. A total of 235 heterosexual college women were recruited during September 2012–May 2013. Participants completed online questionnaires assessing lifetime history of IPV, frequency of condom negotiation, and use of condoms during the last 30 days. Specific forms of psychological IPV were related to less condom use. This association was mediated by condom negotiation, such that those who had experienced psychological IPV were less likely to negotiate condom use, and as a result, less likely to report using condoms in the past 30 days. Campus-based sexual health efforts should consider the relation of psychological IPV to condom negotiation and condom use and offer skills to promote condom negotiation among college women to increase condom use and reduce their risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Publication Title

Women and Health