Risky sexual behavior among cannabis users: The role of protective behavioral strategies

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Cannabis users tend to use condoms less often than cannabis abstainers, placing them at risk for sexually transmitted disease and unplanned pregnancies. This is especially problematic among college students, who experience such problems at especially high rates. Despite accumulating data indicating that cannabis users are less likely to use condoms, little research has identified potentially malleable cognitive vulnerability factors that may be related to condom use in this vulnerable population. Thus, the current study tested whether cannabis users believed others use condoms less often and/or whether they engaged in less condom-related protective behavior strategies (PBS) than cannabis abstainers and whether cannabis use status was indirectly related to condom use via these vulnerability factors. Among 214 college students (64 past-month cannabis users), cannabis users engaged in less PBS (although cannabis use was unrelated to normative beliefs). Cannabis use status was indirectly related to condom use via PBS and cannabis use status was unrelated to condom use after controlling for PBS. Results highlight the importance of PBS use among cannabis users, a group at particular risk for risky sexual behaviors.

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Addictive behaviors

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