Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Donald Goodwin


The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) and etiological agent of cervical cancer. It has been suggested that religiosity may promote a generalized disassociation between all STIs/STDs, including HPV, and personal relevance thus contributing to lower levels of HPV awareness and knowledge among certain groups. This study sought to identify the role of religiosity as a predictor of HPV awareness and knowledge among women in a Christian university. Religiosity was defined and measured using the Duke University Religion Index (DUREL). The schemata and social identity theories provided the theoretical framework for this study. A total of 173 women completed the modified survey instrument to assess level of HPV awareness and knowledge, attitudes toward premarital sex, and level of religiosity. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses. Religiosity, as defined by the intrinsic religiosity subscale of the DUREL significantly contributed to HPV awareness (p = .002) and HPV knowledge (p = .036). The positive social change implications of this study include a better understanding of the role of religiosity in HPV awareness and knowledge; consideration of religiosity in dissemination of health information by informing public health policies and programs to ensure adequate and culturally relevant education and awareness about HPV transmission, HPV-related cancers, and HPV vaccination.