December 30, 2022, Durham, NC – iRT Research Scientist Dr. Reina Evans-Paulson is consulting on a grant awarded to North Carolina State University to conduct a meta-analysis on predictors of adolescent condom use.

Condoms are the most accessible, cost-effective protection against transmission of STDs and HIV for sexually active adolescents, and they are an effective method of pregnancy prevention for youth. Unfortunately, research has shown that only 54% of U.S. adolescents used a condom the last time they had sex. It is critical that we understand the factors that most strongly predict condom use so that they can be targeted in future adolescent sex education efforts.

On a team led by Dr. Laura Widman, Associate Professor at NC State and Clinical Psychologist, Evans-Paulson is providing support in identifying the strongest psychosocial predictors of adolescent condom use. The team will meta-analyze literature on adolescent sexual health to assess the relationships between condom use and approximately 30 psychosocial variables, such as HIV/STD knowledge, sex education, and partner attitudes. The team will also study potential moderators, such as age and gender, of the relationships between the psychosocial variables and adolescent condom use.

“Currently, we are systematically reviewing over two decades of literature on adolescent health promotion to identify articles for inclusion in this meta-analysis,” said Evans-Paulson.

The findings of this meta-analysis will provide necessary information to effectively target adolescent audiences in sexual health promotion efforts. These efforts could be integral in the prevention of STDs, HIV, and pregnancy among youth.