Do students use contextual protective behaviors to reduce alcohol-related sexual risk? Examination of a dual-process decision-making model

Nichole M. Scaglione, Brittney A. Hultgren, Racheal Reavy, Kimberly A. Mallett, Rob Turrisi, Michael J. Cleveland, Nichole M. Sell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Recent studies suggest drinking protective behaviors (DPBs) and contextual protective behaviors (CPBs) can uniquely reduce alcohol-related sexual risk in college students. Few studies have examined CPBs independently, and even fewer have utilized theory to examine modifiable psychosocial predictors of students' decisions to use CPBs. The current study used a prospective design to examine (a) rational and reactive pathways and psychosocial constructs predictive of CPB use and (b) how gender might moderate these influences in a sample of college students. Students (n = 508) completed Web-based baseline (mid-Spring semester) and 1- and 6-month follow-up assessments of CPB use; psychosocial constructs (expectancies, normative beliefs, attitudes, and self-concept); and rational and reactive pathways (intentions and willingness). Regression was used to examine rational and reactive influences as proximal predictors of CPB use at the 6-month follow-up. Subsequent path analyses examined the effects of psychosocial constructs, as distal predictors of CPB use, mediated through the rational and reactive pathways. Both rational (intentions to use CPB) and reactive (willingness to use CPB) influences were significantly associated with increased CPB use. The examined distal predictors were found to effect CPB use differentially through the rational and reactive pathways. Gender did not significantly moderate any relationships within in the model. Findings suggest potential entry points for increasing CPB use that include both rational and reactive pathways. Overall, this study demonstrates the mechanisms underlying how to increase the use of CPBs in programs designed to reduce alcohol-related sexual consequences and victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-743
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this