According to an American study, helping teenagers manage the stress involved in condom use is as important as teaching them about safe sex.
The study conducted by lead author Celia Lescano of the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I., was based on the study of 222 youths, aged 13 to 18.
Lescano found that lack of self-efficacy (the belief that one could effectively engage in a particular behavior) was a major barrier to the use of condoms during sex.
Reportedly, some teenage boys find the act of putting on and using a condom difficult, when mentally upset.
Compared to teens with lower self-efficacy, teens with higher self-efficacy (those who felt they could effectively use condoms) were more likely to use them consistently even when they were feeling upset, angry, depressed or bad about themselves.
Says Lescano who published the report in the Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community: "We found that adolescents need help feeling more comfortable and less distressed about discussing and using condoms.
"Adolescents can learn to decrease their anxiety about discussing and using condoms in order to use them safely and effectively," Lescano added.