Cognitive Mediation of Alcohol's Effects on Women's in-the-Moment Sexual Decision Making

Jeanette Norris, Susan A. Stoner, Danielle M. Hessler, Tina M. Zawacki, William H. George, Diane M. Morrison, Kelly C. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Objective: To test a cognitive mediation model examining whether cognitive appraisals mediate alcohol consumption effects on condom request and unprotected sex intentions. Design: Female social drinkers (N = 173) participated in an experiment comparing four beverage conditions: control, placebo, target BAL = .04%, and target BAL = .08%. Subjects projected themselves into a hypothetical sexual encounter with a new sex partner. Measures: Appraisals of the situation's sexual potential, impelling and inhibiting cognitions, and behavioral intentions were assessed at several points. Results: Findings support the theoretical model, indicating that alcohol's effects on direct condom request and unprotected sex intentions were mediated through cognitive appraisals. Conclusion: Prevention interventions should include information about alcohol's effects on cognitions that may lead to ineffective condom negotiation and unprotected sex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • alcohol consumption
  • cognitive meditation
  • risky sex
  • sexual decision making
  • women's sexual health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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