A psychosocial model of club drug use and sexual behavior among men-who-have-sex-with-men

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Ron E. Duran - Committee Chair


Literature has shown that club drug use positively relates to risky sex between men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM), and that this association is strongest among the subculture of MSM who frequent bars, clubs, and circuit party events. In response to methodological flaws and a lack of research addressing culturally relevant predictors of club drug use, the current study investigated a conceptual model testing the paths among three culturally relevant variables, club drug use, and risky sexual behavior within a sample of 197 MSM who frequent bars, clubs, and/or circuit parties. Direct paths were hypothesized between greater internalized homonegativity, greater body dissatisfaction, and less social intimacy, each with greater club drug use. A direct path was also hypothesized between greater club drug use and greater risky sex. The model was expected to fit the data more closely among HIV-positive MSM than HIV-negative MSM. Score distributions across the behavioral variables demanded a logistic approach using confirmatory factor analysis with latent categorical indicators. Findings suggest that MSM who attend greater numbers of circuit parties are at increased risk of using club drugs and consequently engaging in unprotected anal intercourse with casual sex-partners while under the influence of those drugs. Associations between social intimacy and body dissatisfaction with club drug use among the HIV-positive participants support a potential mechanism whereby desire for intimacy and body dissatisfaction motivate HIV-positive MSM to engage in club drug use and subsequent risky sexual behavior.


Psychology, Social; Health Sciences, Public Health; Psychology, Clinical

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