Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Education and Human Services


Family and Child Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Brad van Eeden-Moorefield

Committee Member

Soyoung Lee

Committee Member

Lisa Lieberman


College students--Sexual behavior--United States, College students--Attitudes


This quantitative study sought to describe general and penetrative hookup behavior among college attending emerging adults aged 18-22, and to understand the relationships between hookup behavior, romantic relationship self-efficacy, and intent to marry. Cognitive behavioral theory viewed through a feminist lens grounded the study. The convenience sample consisted of 38 respondents (32 females, 6 males) from a midsized northeastern university. Respondents were asked to answer an online survey that asked about hookup behaviors, partner types, emotional experiences, feelings of romantic relationship self-efficacy, and intent to marry. Frequencies revealed that respondents prefer to engage in hookups with partners they know and that the majority of respondents felt emotional satisfaction and emotional closeness half the time or less after engaging in hookups. T-tests and correlations were used to analyze the data. Men (M=19.17, SD=20.98) reported engaging in general hookup behavior more frequently than women (M=6.16, SD=3.97), t(38)=-3.38, p<.01. Further, hookup behavior (both general and penetrative) was not related to feelings of romantic relationship self-efficacy or intent to marry suggesting that hookup behavior has become normative on college campuses. Implications and future research are discussed.

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