Impulsivity, sexual risk behaviours and substance use in university health science students

Project: Research Project

Project Details


Background: Impulsivity is a widely used construct, with suggested associations with risk behaviours in the general population such as psychoactive substance use and sexual risk behaviour.
Objective: To determine possible associations between sexual risk behaviour and psychoactive substance use and impulsivity in health science students.
Methods: Cross-sectional analytical study. Subjects completed a digital instrument that included questions on sociodemographic variables, CAGE, DAST-10, BIS-15S, DASS-21 and sexual risk behaviour questionnaires (ESR), developed using the Delphi method. Multivariate models were performed to assess the strength of association between impulsivity and risk behaviours after controlling for other variables.
Results: 229 subjects from the various careers were evaluated. Mostly female (69.4%; n=159) with a mean age of 20.5 years; 11.4% (n=26) were categorised as "high risk for substance abuse", 23.6% (n=54) as "problematic alcohol use" and an average of 4.29 sexual risk behaviours per individual. All outcomes had positive associations with other risk behaviours. Problem drinking was associated with anxiety subscale of the DASS-21. Substance use was associated with male sex, the total score on the BIS-15S and the interaction of BIS-15S with age. Finally, ESR was associated with age and BIS-15S.
Discussion: Self-reported impulsivity was associated with substance use and sexual risk behaviour. There were associations between the risk behaviours suggesting important relationships between them.


Impulsivity; Sexual Behaviour; Students; Substance-related disorders; Affect; Impulsivity
Effective start/end date8/1/21 → …

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Main Funding Source

  • Installed Capacity (Academic Unit)


  • Bogotá D.C.


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