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Faculty Mentor

Katherine Bonafide, Kaitlin Flannery

Creation Date



Engaging in sexual behaviors is common among college students. Studies have identified that emerging adults are more at risk of contracting STIs, but little research has been done on frequency and comfort in discussing such matters. Therefore, this study assesses differences in students’ frequency and comfort engaging in sexual health communication, as well as their lifetime sexual experiences, by academic year. Results show that while there was not a significant difference in frequency among the academic years, F(3,245)=.60, p=.62, there was a significant difference in comfort, such that freshman reported lower comfort (M=41.37, SD=5.91) than seniors (M=44.71, SD=5.46), F(3, 249)=2.92, p=.04. Participants also exhibited differences in lifetime sexual behavior, such that freshman reported lower lifetime sexual behavior (M=2.92, SD=1.98) than sophomores (M=4.54, SD=1.56), juniors (M=4.68, SD=1.86), and seniors (M=5.08, SD=1.74), F(3, 252)=12.96, p<.001. These findings are important in determining when and how to implement sexual health interventions.


Sexual Health Communication, College students, Transformations