Although sexual risk behavior occurs in a dyadic context, most studies of adolescent sexual behavior focus on individuals. This study uses couple data (N = 488 couples) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine how partners' contraceptive attitudes correlate over time and whether male or female partners' attitudes are better predictors of condom use. Net of their own prior attitudes, partners' prior attitudes predicted both male and female adolescents' Wave 2 attitudes. This association was stronger for female than for male adolescents, suggesting that female attitudes were influenced more by males' prior attitudes than vice versa. When entered together, only male adolescents' attitudes predicted dyadic condom use. Findings suggest that male partners may have greater influence on adolescent contraceptive decisions and that prevention programs should emphasize the relational context of sexual behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Behavioral Neuroscience