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Alcohol Consumption, Sensation Seeking and Sexual Behavior among College Students

Gabrielle Dowdy
Psychology, Pre-Medicine
Mentor: Dr. Elizabeth Yost Hammer

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Abstract

College students are renowned for engaging in many unhealthy behaviors. Many students view college as the time to be independent and explore new things. Compared to other age groups, college students have higher rates of alcohol use. The students also partake in unprotected sex and have multiple partners. High sensation seekers engage in casual sex more often than low sensation seekers and also are more likely to have sex with multiple partners. The present study examines college students from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to see how alcohol consumption, sensation seeking and risky sexual behavior relate to each other. The data was analyzed using a Pearson’s r analysis and a one-way ANOVA. The results indicated that there was a positive relationship between the three variables, with a major difference in alcohol consumption observed between freshmen and juniors. The data showed that the junior class consumed more alcohol than any of the other classes. A few limitations may have altered the overall results of the study, including privacy and academic class. Future research should continue to examine these three variables but also examine the influence of religiosity.


Key Terms

Sensation Seeking, Alcohol, Sexual Behavior, Correlational


About the Author

Gabrielle Dowdy is a Psychology, Pre-Medicine major from Memphis, TN. Upon graduating from Xavier in 2013, Dowdy hopes to attend medical school to become an OB/GYN as well as pursue a PhD. Read more ...


About the Faculty Mentor

Dr. Elizabeth Yost Hammer, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching, has a research background in social psychology and the scholarship of teaching and learning.


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