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Title:Examining the principles of social influence and condom use in casual sex
Author(s):Rinaldi-Miles, Anna
Director of Research:McCloskey, Laura
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McCloskey, Laura; Quick, Brian L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Andrade, Flavia; Graber, Kim C.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Discipline:Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):casual sex
condom use
social influence
theory of planned behavior
college students
Abstract:In this dissertation, two studies were conducted to examine the relationship between Cialdini’s (1984) six principles of social influence (authority, consistency, liking, reciprocity, scarcity, and social proof) and condom use in casual sex relationships in college populations. In Study 1, nine single-gender focus groups (N = 48) of college undergraduates were conducted to investigate the use of the principles of social influence for condom use decisions in casual sex. Data were transcribed verbatim and coded for endorsement or rejection of the six principles on condom use decisions. The data were analyzed using content analysis. Furthermore, data from the focus groups were used to corroborate the content of six vignettes created for Study 2. In Study 2, a web-based survey was created to further examine the relationship between the principles of social influence and condom use intentions in casual sex. For each of the six principles of social influence, female-centered and male-centered vignettes were created. Following each vignette were questions that examined the constructs of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) assessing participants’ attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and intentions regarding condom use in each of the six vignettes. Additionally, the survey contained items assessing demographic information, alcohol use, past sexual behaviors, past safe sex practices, and personality traits. The survey was piloted and revisions were made. In the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012, the survey was offered as an extra credit opportunity in a human sexuality course in the Kinesiology and Community Health Department. The final sample consisted of 388 (277 females and 111 males). In Study 1, consistency, authority, and social proof were found to be the most endorsed principles and gender differences were found. In Study 2, significant differences were found across the six principles for each of the TPB constructs indicating that the principles influence the constructs differently. Further analysis revealed that social proof and liking were found to have significant different relationships with the constructs of the TPB. The findings indicate that the principles of social influence are used to aide in condom use decisions in casual sex relationships. Furthermore, the constructs of the TPB were found to have a significant positive association with condom use intentions, with perceived behavioral control being the strongest predictor. The results are discussed with an emphasis on theoretical and practical implications for using the principles of social influence in safer sex interventions.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Anna Rinaldi-Miles
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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