The Theory of Planned Behavior and Safer Sex Behaviors of Gay Men
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Determinants of performance of 11 safer sex behaviors were examined within the framework of the theory of planned behavior in a sample of gay men. The theory of planned behavior proposes that intentions and perceived control over behavior contribute to the prediction of behavioral performance. It also theorizes that perceived control, attitudes, and subjective norm predict intentions. Results indicated that control did not contribute significantly to the prediction of any of a range of safer sex behaviors in the sample of gay men, over and above the predictive power of intentions. Control measures were, however, predictive of some safer sex intentions, together with attitudes and subjective norms. Moreover, AIDS-preventive behavioral skills (e.g., how effectively one believed he could enact the behavior), as opposed to difficulty of performing safer sex behaviors (e.g., the ease or difficulty of enacting the behavior), proved to be the control component that was most strongly related to intention. Discussion focuses on the relevance of the findings for safer sex interventions with gay men and for the theory of planned behavior.
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