Date of Conferral





Public Health


Donald Goodwin


Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are preventable conditions for which treatment failure (specifically in gonorrhea) is becoming problematic. U.S. young adults (20-29 years) have high rates of STD incidence and prevention of these diseases, but reaching them to provide primary prevention educations is challenging due to low perceived susceptibility to infection and lack of knowledge about how young adults seek health information. The purpose of this quantitative survey study was to assess the association between perceived susceptibility to STDs, sexual risk behavior, and the acquisition of health information as it pertains to sexual health topics in young adults. The Health Belief Model (HBM) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) were used in combination as the theoretical foundation of this study. Data collection was done using an adapted version of the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), the Condom Use Self Efficacy Scale (CUSES), and an adapted version of the Marin County (California) Health Department's Sexual Risk Survey. There were 128 eligible participants and analysis of the data showed that the internet was the primary source of both general health information (87.5%) and STD specific health information (75.8%). A multiple regression analysis showed that there was no statistically significant correlation between perceived susceptibility and health information seeking or sexual risk (p > .05).

This can aid in positive social change by prompting additional research on the subject of STD prevention in young adults through the design and dissemination of tools for education that may reduce the rate of STDs or other health ailments.