Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Orcutt, Holly K.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Women college students--Psychology; Women college students--Sexual behavior; Women college students--Alcohol use


The goal of this paper was to examine motivations for engaging in risky sexual behaviors (RSB) and factors, such as alcohol use, that may increase the likelihood of engaging in RSB. For the purposes of the present study, RSB was defined as not using condoms during intercourse and having intercourse with poorly known partners, which were treated separately with regard to analyses. Using a weekly diary methodology, the present study examined whether using situation-specific, as opposed to global, coping strategies, such as using alcohol to reduce negative affect (ARNA) and sex to reduce negative affect (SRNA), and whether experiencing negative affect (NA) and being intoxicated significantly predicted whether participants would engage in RSB. These variables were examined individually and in combination. Female college students ( n = 93) completed a weekly computerized questionnaire for eight weeks reporting on their sexual behavior, their level of intoxication, level of negative affect, and use of strategies (i.e., sex and alcohol) to reduce negative affect at the time of the sexual encounter. Using hierarchical linear modeling, results indicated that level of intoxication was the sole significant main effect related to engaging in RSB; specifically, level of intoxication was positively related to sex with a poorly known partner. With regard to moderation hypotheses, results did not indicate any significant interactions between the predictor variables.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 95-105)


v, 122 pages




Northern Illinois University

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