Test-retest reliability and gender differences in the sexual discounting task among cocaine-dependent individuals.

Matthew W. Johnson, Natalie R. Bruner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Sexual Discounting Task uses the delay discounting framework to examine sexual HIV risk behavior. Previous research showed task performance to be significantly correlated with self-reported HIV risk behavior in cocaine dependence. Test-retest reliability and gender differences had remained unexamined. The present study examined the test-retest reliability of the Sexual Discounting Task. Cocaine-dependent individuals (18 men, 13 women) completed the task in two laboratory visits ∼7 days apart. Participants selected photographs of individuals with whom they were willing to have casual sex. Among these, participants identified the individual most (and least) likely to have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and the individual with whom he or she most (and least) wanted to have sex. In reference to these individuals, participants rated their likelihood of having unprotected sex versus waiting to have sex with a condom, at various delays. A money delay discounting task was also completed at the first visit. Significant differences in discounting among partner conditions were shown. Differential stability was demonstrated by significant, positive correlations between test and retest for all four partner conditions. Absolute stability was demonstrated by statistical equivalence tests between test and retest, and also supported by a lack of significant differences between test and retest. Men generally discounted significantly more than women for sexual outcomes but not money. Results suggest the Sexual Discounting Task to be a reliable measure in cocaine-dependent individuals, which supports its use as a repeated measure in clinical research, for example, studies examining acute drug effects on sexual risk and the effects of addiction treatment and HIV prevention interventions on sexual risk. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental and clinical psychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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