The proposed project is a competing renewal of R01AA017608, which investigated the influence of young men's alcohol intoxication, sexual aggression perpetration history, and partner condom negotiation on their sexual risk behavior through two alcohol administration experiments and follow-up surveys. Findings from the original project suggest that alcohol intoxication and sexual aggression history are predictive of greater condom use resistance and other sexual risk behaviors (e.g., unprotected sex) at both proximal and event levels. Moreover, preliminary results suggest that emotional factors may play a role in these associations, suggesting a promising avenue for continued research. The proposed renewal aims to build upon these findings through investigation of the emotional mechanisms involved in young men's alcohol-related sexual risk behavior to provide an empirical foundation for developing evidence-based sexual risk prevention programs. The proposed project continues and extends the original line of research through multiple methods designed to evaluate distal and proximal emotional factors implicated in alcohol-related sexual risk. Male drinkers aged 21- 30 who use condoms inconsistently (n = 600) will first complete a screening procedure followed by a baseline survey which will assess relevant constructs including negative emotional traits, emotion dysregulation tendencies, and alcohol expectancies. They will then complete a 30 day daily diary assessment of their daily emotional states, daily coping motives pertaining to drinking and sex, and daily drinking and sexual risk behaviors in order to evaluate daily relationships among these factors. Upon completion of the daily monitoring period, the same participants will complete an in-lab experiment assessing in-the-moment effects of alcohol intoxication and provocation on negative emotional states and sexual risk intentions. Generalized linear mixed models will be used to examine the daily influence of emotional states and coping motives on alcohol consumption and sexual risk behaviors. Structural equation modeling and other regression-based analyses will be used to examine experimental effects of alcohol intoxication and provocation on negative emotional states and other mediators, as well as sexual risk intentions. Moderating effects of negative emotional traits, emotion dysregulation tendencies, and alcohol expectancies will also be examined for both daily and in-the-moment processes, and the linkages between event-level and experimental relationships will be investigated. The proposed renewal is both significant and innovative in that it will address the public health concern of men's sexual risk behaviors including condom use resistance; will evaluate the role of emotional processes in men's alcohol-related sexual risk; and will use multiple methods to gather complementary types of data that will elucidate the mechanisms underlying alcohol-related sexual risk behaviors and provide an empirical evidence base from which to develop and inform prevention and intervention programs.

Public Health Relevance

Young men?s alcohol-related sexual risk behavior and resistance of condom use continues to pose an important public health concern contributing to both unplanned pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. This project will advance our ability to understand the roles of alcohol, sexual aggression history, and emotional processes in these risk behaviors by investigating emotions and emotion regulation as mechanisms underlying alcohol-related sexual risk. An understanding of the specific mechanisms which drive condom use resistance and sexual risk behaviors will contribute evidence for the development of science driven behavior-change prevention programs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Addiction Risks and Mechanisms Study Section (ARM)
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Freeman, Robert
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Arizona State University-Tempe Campus
Schools of Nursing
United States
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