Original Paper

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 626-640

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Action-specific Cognitions of Planned and Preparatory Behaviors of Condom Use among Dutch Adolescents

  • Pepijn van EmpelenAffiliated withInstitute for Psychological Research, Department of Clinical, Health and Neuropsychology, Leiden University Email author 
  • , Gerjo KokAffiliated withDepartment of Work and Social Psychology, Maastricht University


Many adolescents fail to use condoms, even when they are motivated to do so. An important reason for their failure to use condoms is that they do not prepare themselves for potential sexual encounters. The present study examined the circumstances under which Dutch adolescents were likely to prepare themselves for condom use (buying and carrying). In a sample of 399 secondary school students, including students with and without sexual experience, it was found that intended condom use was not sufficient to ensure that adolescents plan and prepare for condom use. It was found that having the goal of condom use did not necessarily result in preparatory behavior, such as condom buying and condom carrying. The data showed that action-specific social-cognitive factors of preparatory behavior explained preparatory behavior, beyond the decision to use condoms. This suggests that interventions aimed at promoting condom use should focus not only on condom use itself, but should also motivate and encourage adolescents to buy and carry condoms.


Adolescents Condom use Preparatory action Action-specific cognitions Planned behavior