Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Human Development and Family Studies

Major

Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Brenda J. Lohman

Abstract

This dissertation provides critical contributions in the field of sexual health across the life course by examining the role of various contextual factors on risky sexual behavior, physical health, and mental health. Two studies were conducted. First, the longitudinal impact of hooking up at sexual debut in adolescence on risky sexual behavior among low-income, urban emerging adults was assessed. This was evaluated alongside advantages (e.g., mother/child relationship quality and parental monitoring) and disadvantages (e.g., mental health symptoms and delinquent behavior). Second, the associations between family support, community connectedness, and patient perceived comfort of medical practitioner and physical and psychological health were assessed among gender and sexual minorities (GSMs). Findings from the first study illustrate that, while hooking up in adolescence predicts risky sexual behavior at the bivariate level, factors such as mother/child relationship quality and parental monitoring had a stronger influence in reducing risky sexual behaviors in multivariate analysis. Findings from the second study illustrate that family support, LGBT community connectedness, and patient perceived comfort of medical practitioner were all positively associated with mental health and the latter two factors were associated with physical health. Limitations, implications, and future directions in the field of sexual health are discussed.

Copyright Owner

Greta Luise Stuhlsatz

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

91 pages

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