AbstractsSocial Work

A correlational study of self-esteem and attitudes toward contraceptive efficacy to the levels of sexually risky behavior among undergraduate college students

by Nora Zappas

Institution: California State University – Sacramento
Department: Social Work
Degree: MSW
Year: 2015
Keywords: STD; Unintended pregnancy; Sexually transmitted diseses; Self-efficacy; Safe sex; Contraception; Sex education; Sexually transmitted infection
Record ID: 2060302
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/138623


This study examined factors that contribute to risky sexual behavior in undergraduate college students, with special reference to self-esteem and attitudes toward contraceptive efficacy. Because unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections are prevalent among young adults, the purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship among factors that contribute to risky sexual behavior. This quantitative, correlational, and descriptive study used a questionnaire and Rosenberg???s self-esteem scale to measure levels of the respondent???s demographics, sexual health beliefs, knowledge, behaviors, self-esteem and contraceptive efficacy with a nonprobability sample of 76 undergraduate students at California State University, Sacramento. Overall findings showed that higher contraceptive efficacy contributes to safer sexual behaviors, but did not find correlations between self-esteem and sexual behavior. While some aspects of contraceptive efficacy were not strongly related to self-esteem, there is significance to evidence the fact that higher levels of self-esteem can assist in empowering people to stop sex, even at the risk of upsetting their partner, in favor of protecting their own health. The level of fulfillment in respondent???s social life was found to correlate to contraceptive efficacy scores in this study. Additionally, higher levels of perceived sexual health knowledge of the respondents is correlated to higher levels of contraceptive efficacy. Recommendations include the need for targeted interventions to increase awareness, knowledge, and efficacy of sexual behavior among young college students; particularly to assist at-risk populations in preventing unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.