- OBJECTIVE: The associations substance use has with sex and condom use among college
students appear to be well-documented and of clear public health significance. However,
few event-level studies examine marijuana or heavy alcohol use, control for temporal
patterns shared among these behaviors, or consider differences by relationship status.
METHOD: We recruited 284 18 to 22 year old undergraduate men and women (79%), 61%
of whom were in a serious relationship. For 24 consecutive days, participants reported on
their prior day marijuana use, heavy alcohol use, vaginal intercourse, and condom use.
RESULTS: Most intercourse events (86%) were reported by participants in a serious
relationship, and most (62%) were not protected by a condom. Hierarchical generalized
linear models indicated participants in a serious relationship were more likely to report
intercourse than were others. Adjusting for weekly patterns in intercourse, odds of
intercourse were higher on days participants reported marijuana or heavy alcohol use; the
latter effect was stronger for single participants. Being drunk during sex, being in a
serious relationship, and use of non-condom birth control were associated with less
CONCLUSIONS: Models distinguish among multiple potential influences on
undergraduates’ sexual behavior. Findings suggest greater attention to the relationship
and other contexts of marijuana and alcohol use may be relevant to understanding young
adults’ sexual behavior and preventing health-risking or nonconsensual sex.
- Kerr, D. C., Washburn, I. J., Morris, M. K., Lewis, K. A. G., & Tiberio, S. S. (2015). Event-Level Associations of Marijuana and Heavy Alcohol Use With Intercourse and Condom Use. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 76(5), 733-737. doi:10.15288/jsad.2015.76.733