Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Casual sex culture, also known as hook-up culture, is an experience adversely affecting teens in America. The intent of this study was to test the association between sports participation and sexual risk behaviors among high school males. For the purpose of this study, sports participation, the independent variable, was defined by having played on a sports team in the last 12 months. The sexual risk behaviors, dependent variables, were defined by sexual engagement with multiple partners, drug and alcohol use before intercourse, and sex without condoms. The ecological model provided the theoretical foundation for the study. Secondary analysis of the 2015 Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System using logistic regression was employed to test if there was an association between sports participation and sexual risk behaviors in 7,749 high school males. Using regression analysis, a significant association was found between sports participation and abstinence status, number of sexual partners, and drug and alcohol use at last sexual intercourse. As the number of sports teams increased, the number of abstinent participants increased, the number of sexual partners decreased, and the number of participants who used drugs and alcohol at last sexual intercourse decreased. However, there was no association between sports participation and condom use at last sexual intercourse. Recommendations for next steps include using sports programs as a vehicle to influence behavior change. This study aimed to promote social change by improving the understanding of how sports programs benefit individuals, families, and communities from reducing sexual risk behaviors in teen males.