Date of Conferral





Public Health


Shari Jorissen


In the United States, college students face an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, sexual assault, and unwanted pregnancy due to experimental sexual behavior compared to individuals who do not attend college. Based on the theoretical framework of familism, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between sexual attitudes and familism among college students. Data were collected from nontraditional adult students who attend an online institution of higher education. The Familism Scale and the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale were used to measure the variables of familism and attitudes about sex. Findings from multiple linear regression analyses indicated a statistically significant relationship between total familism and permissiveness (r = -.265, n = 118, p < .01) and between total familism and birth control attitudes (r = .20, n = 118, p < .05). There was no statistically significant relationship between total familism and communion (r = .094, n = 118, p < .353) or between total familism and instrumentality (r = -.09, n = 118, p = .402). Results may be used to inform community health centers interested in using educational approaches to educate community members and college institutions on how students make decisions about sex.