Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 53 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Mitch Earleywine

Committee Members

Julia Hormes, Drew Anderson


Cognitive Dissonance, Health Psychology, Motivational Enhancement, Reproductive Health, Women college students, Condom use, Sex customs, Sexually transmitted diseases, Alcohol and sex, Sexual behavior surveys, Risk-taking (Psychology)

Subject Categories



Behavioral interventions that successfully increase condom use often require significant resources. Given the need for low-cost, sustainable interventions, I designed a web-based intervention to increase condom use among college women by focusing on discrepancies between idealized and actual behavior. Participants (422 women Mage=18.88 years, SD=1.65) completed demographic, sexual, and condom attitudes and intentions questionnaires as well as a Timeline Followback Interview to assess their drinking and condom use for the previous month. Participants engaged in a decisional balance analysis for each time they did or did not use a condom. Finally, participants wrote an essay encouraging high school girls to use condoms. The control group engaged in all the same procedures with the target behavior of binge drinking. All procedures were conducted online. Women in the condom group had significantly greater intentions to use condoms and more positive attitudes about condoms immediately following the intervention. Women in the binge drinking group had greater intentions to avoid binge drinking. A subset of women (N=216, Mage=18.91, SD=1.32) completed a three-month follow up. There were no group differences in attitudes, intentions, or drinking or sex behaviors at follow up. Condom attitudes following the intervention significantly predicted condom use at follow up, and this relationship was mediated by condom intentions post intervention. Furthermore, the link between intentions and condom use was moderated by group; intentions had a greater impact on condom use among those in the condom intervention compared to those in binge drinking group. This study highlights the importance of considering the process of behavior change and the multiple pathways through which an intervention can influence on behavior.  

Included in

Psychology Commons