Relationship Ambiance and Condom Use in Greek Young Adults’ Dating Relationships
Author(s)Panos S. Kordoutis
Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
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AbstractWe examined whether ambiance, a qualitative relationship characteristic, predicted condom use in Greek young adults’ dating relationships, along with other objective relationship characteristics, such as relationship duration and coital sex frequency. Ambiance definition was based on the fundamental companionate-passionate love distinction. Participants were 277 Greek university students, 18-25 years old, having an ongoing relationship; they provided their basic demographics and information on their relationship, such as duration and coital sex frequency. They also described their relationship, in terms of passionate and companionate ambiance, using the rating scales of an 11-item ambiance measure. Finally, they indicated whether they had used or not used a condom at first, last intercourse and consistently during the last month. We hypothesized that condoms would be used more frequently at first and last intercourse, and more consistently in relationships with predominantly companionate rather that passionate ambiance. Three logistic regression analyses revealed that ambiance predicted condom use and that condoms were used more frequently at last intercourse and more consistently in relationships of companionate rather than passionate ambiance. Further analyses indicated that ambiance qualified condom use effects of relationship duration and coital sex frequency. It is suggested that companionate ambiance focuses partners on the normative aspect of the relationship, increasing protective behavior, while passionate, on the sexual and intimate, undermining it.