Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shi, Lin

Second Advisor

Killmer, J. Mark

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Family and Consumer Sciences


This study explored the relationship between attachment and sexual risk-taking behaviors in emerging adulthood. Understanding and identifying the variables that influence sexual risk behaviors are important to the design and implementation of therapeutic interventions and psychoeducation. It was hypothesized that there is a statistically significant relationship between attachment and increased levels of sexual risk-taking behaviors in emerging adults. To investigate the research hypothesis, this study used a quantitative correlational design to examine the relationship(s) between the variables. The participants completed three online questionnaires: a demographic questionnaire, the Sexual Risk Survey (SRS), and the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ). Results suggested that there is no significant correlation between increased sexual risk-taking in emerging adults with either father-child or mother-child attachment. Research outcomes indicated a small yet statistically significant association between preoccupied adult attachment and increased sexual risk-taking behaviors. Results, limitations and aims for future research, in addition to, implications of the research for the field of Marriage and Family Therapy are discussed.


106 pages




Northern Illinois University

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