Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 12-19

Reducing denial and sexual risk behaviors in college students: A comparison of a cognitive and a motivational approach

  • Patricia EitelAffiliated withDivision of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research, NICHD, NIH
  • , Ronald FriendAffiliated withState University of New York at Stony Brook

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This study compared two interventions designed to decrease denial of sexually transmitted disease (STD)/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk, to increase purchase of and intent to use condoms, and to decrease sexual risk behaviors. One hundred and fifty sexually active male and female undergraduates were assessed at baseline for denial of STD/HIV risk, knowledge of sexual risk behaviors, and self-reports of sexual behavior and were randomly assigned to either a motivational or cognitive intervention or a control condition. After the intervention, subjects were offered the opportunity to purchase condoms and were assessed for denial and intent to use condoms. Two months later, sexual risk behaviors and denial were measured. The motivational approach was most effective in reducing denial and in increasing intent to use condoms immediately following the intervention and in reducing sexual risk behaviors 2 months later.