Date of Conferral





Public Health


Shanna Barnett


The spread of sexually transmitted diseases is a major ongoing public health issue in North Carolina. Adolescents between the ages of 13 and 19 years have consistently contributed to this trend. Researchers have found that condom use among high school students has decreased. High school students continue to engage in sex with multiple partners, with lack of knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases, even though sex education and prevention programs have been recommended. The purpose of this quantitative study was to evaluate the predictors of condom use among adolescents. The socioecological model theoretical framework was applied to guide this research involving knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases and school-based and parent or other adult sex education that involves multiple social relationships. The sample included 1,002 high school students who completed the 2017 North Carolina Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Data analysis were conducted using binary logistic regressions to examine the predictors of condom use and to determine the statistical significance of each relationship expressed in the research questions. Results from this study showed that sexually active males used condoms more than sexually active females and that there was no relationship between condom use, knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases, and school-based sex education. However, results revealed that the type of knowledge and sex education taught should be explored in relation to the theoretical framework. The outcome of this research indicated that family, teachers, health care professionals, and community members must be engaged for social change to occur to improve sexual health and education among adolescents.