Condom Negotiation Strategies and Actual Condom Use Among Latino Youth

Determining which condom negotiation strategies are effective in obtaining, or avoiding, condom use among Latino youths was the goal of the current study.

The subjects -- 694 Latino youths, ages 16 to 22, 61 percent female -- were interviewed about condom negotiation strategies, perceptions of whether their partner wanted to use condoms, and actual condom use. Three strategies to obtain condom use -- risk information, direct verbal/nonverbal communication, and insisting -- were examined, as were four strategies for avoiding condom use -- emotional coercion, ignoring condom use, disliking condoms, and seduction. Multiple linear regression was used to analyze the data, which included 574 youths who said they wanted to use or avoid using condoms.

Nearly 60 percent of the youths reported they wanted to use condoms, and nearly all these employed some strategy to obtain condom use. Compared to young women, young men who said they wanted to use condoms were more likely to do so. Risk information and direct verbal/nonverbal communication were effective strategies for obtaining condom use, even among youths who perceived their partners did not want to use condoms. Ignoring condom use was an effective avoidance strategy, even when youths thought their partners wanted to use condoms. In an unexpected finding, young men who expressed disliking condoms had higher condom use rates than young men not using this avoidance strategy.

"This research identified condom negotiation strategies that are effective among Latino youth, even when they believe their partners do not want to use condoms," the authors concluded. "Health care providers could encourage Latino youth to use such condom negotiation strategies."