Title

Perceived Peer Norms, Health Beliefs, and Their Links to Sexual Risk Behavior Among College Students

Date of Award

1-1-2019

Degree Name

M.A. in Clinical Psychology

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor/Chair

Advisor: Jackson Goodnight

Abstract

Previous research suggests that the Health Belief Model and the model of Pluralistic Ignorance are used interdependently to account for individuals' engagement in sexual risk behavior (Wulfert & Wan, 1995; Miller & McFarland, 1991; Downing-Matibag & Geisinger, 2009). The present study investigates if health belief variables (i.e., perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, and perceived self-efficacy) moderate or mediate the association between perceived peer norms and sexual risk behavior among college students. Results did not provide support for health belief variables acting as a moderator or a mediator of the association between perceived peer norms and sexual risk behavior. However, the results indicate that perceived peer norms consistently predicted sexual risk behavior among college students. These findings underscore findings from previous research regarding how important our perception of our peers is, and how this perception may drive our own behavior.

Keywords

Clinical Psychology, Public Health, Sexual Risk Behavior, Health Beliefs, Peer Norms, Risky Sex

Rights Statement

Copyright 2019, author

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