Date of Conferral







Brian Ragsdale


This study offered a predictive model to better understand the social dynamics of risky sexual behavior through examining how reproductive coercion, self-esteem, and peer relationships that present with risky sexual behaviors correlate to unintended pregnancy. The participants were 104 emerging adult women between the ages 18-25 who resided in the United States and were proficient in the English language. Using the theoretical lens of reciprocal determinism, direct logistic regression was performed to assess the likelihood that the variables reproductive coercion, peer relationships, and self-esteem would impact unintended pregnancy. The full model containing all predictors was statistically significant, indicating that the model was able to distinguish between variables. The strongest predictors of reporting unintended pregnancy were reproductive coercion and peer relationships, whereas self-esteem was not a significant predictor of unintended pregnancy. Thus, the findings show that reproductive coercion and peer relations are significant predictors in unintended pregnancy for emerging adult females, which offers insight into how to develop interventions for this population. These research findings may foster a raise of social change within academic, research and clinical applications, while also addressing the presenting gap in the research.