Abstract

Unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections are preventable, yet there is still a high occurrence of both among university women. This study evaluated perceptions of risk associated with unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among selected university women aged 18-25. This study identified whether women's perceptions of risk affected their decision to take certain precautions to prevent pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. This study also examined whether there was a relationship between perceptions of risk associated with unintended pregnancies and perceptions of risk associated with sexually transmitted infections and some of the variables that are associated with that relationship. This study identified whether university women used a mode of birth control, how often the method was used and their reasons for choosing methods and the factors that influence their use of birth control. Finally, the theoretical framework of the Health Belief Model was applied to this study to better understand university women's perceived risks of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Data were collected using a paper survey instrument that was administered in selected classrooms at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Descriptive statistics of student demographics were computed, such as mean age, sexual orientation and sexual activity level. Linear correlations and t-tests were done using SPSS Statistical Software version 18. This study found that women attending Minnesota State University, Mankato concepts of personal perceived risk and other women's perceived risk of both an unintended pregnancy and becoming infected with a sexually transmitted infection were not consistent. Inconsistency between beliefs and practices in regards to birth control/ protection choices were also found. A significant difference was found between the attitudes of dating and single participants toward the withdrawal method's effectiveness of preventing pregnancy, perceived risk of becoming pregnant without the use of protection/birth control and perceived risk of becoming infected with a sexually transmitted infection without protection. This study also showed that there was a lack of knowledge of HIV testing.

Advisor

Dawn Larsen

First Committee Member

Paul Prew

Second Committee Member

Autumn Hamilton

Date of Degree

2012

Language

english

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Health Science

College

Allied Health and Nursing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.