Date of Conferral
David P. Rentler
Young adult women in their first and second year of college are a group more commonly impacted by health-related concerns associated with condom use. Due to lack of consistent condom use and the increase in sexual partners, STIs remain an epidemic. Various types of studies have been conducted to investigate condom use among women college students. One factor that may influence condom use is the partner relationship. The literature on safe sex practices shows a gap regarding relationship quality and its potential influence on condom use. Guided by the Fletcher et al. model and Sternberg's triangular theory of love, the goal of this study was to explore whether the likelihood of using condoms is influenced by relationship quality components. Using a sample of 85 women college students, relationship quality was examined using the Perceived Relationship Quality Components Inventory. Using a binary logistic regression model, no statistically significant associations among relationship satisfaction, commitment, intimacy, trust, passion, love, overall relationship quality and condom use were found. The findings in this study confirm the existing knowledge, that is, condom use trends and behaviors among young college women remain unpredictable. Limitations to the study include a small sample size, age of majority in Nebraska, and failure to screen for important demographics. For the future, longitudinal studies would offer insight into how condom use behaviors vary depending on fluctuations in relationship quality. This study has implications for positive social change: It suggests an emphasis on a relationship-focused approach to condom use behaviors when working with freshman and sophomore college women.