Impulsivity and geosocial networking: Assessing sexual risk behavior in young men who have sex with men
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The use of geosocial networking (GSN) applications (apps) to meet individuals in close proximity for casual sex is on the rise, especially among young men who have sex with men (YMSM). Previous research has demonstrated an association between impulsivity and HIV risk behavior; however, little research has looked at GSN app use and impulsivity in YMSM or how these factors are related to subsequent engagement in HIV risk behavior. For the present study, YMSM ages 18-24 (n = 80) were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and social media. Participants were electronically administered measures assessing HIV risk behaviors, GSN app use and impulsivity. Significant differences by duration of time spent talking with an app partner before meeting them in person (Time Before Meeting) emerged for HIV risk behavior, how GSN apps were used and impulsivity, with less Time Before Meeting reflecting greater risk and impulsivity. Further, impulsivity was found to mediate the relationship between Time Before Meeting and HIV risk behaviors. These findings suggest that GSN app users, specifically those who have shorter Time before Meeting duration periods, may be at greater risk for HIV acquisition, and draw attention to the need to further examine use of GSN apps and impulsivity in YMSM.
Hahn, Hunter Andres (2015). Impulsivity and geosocial networking: Assessing sexual risk behavior in young men who have sex with men. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from