Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Health Sciences


Katherine Ott-Walter


The hookup culture on college campuses is creating a social shift away from traditional dating. The social influence of this culture could potentially be explained through the use of the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). The SCT examines the effects of peer influence, environmental influence, and personal beliefs on individual behavior. The current study applied the SCT to the hookup culture embodied in the undergraduate student body at James Madison University. Research found that many students may be influenced by their peers and environment to participate in this culture and students misperceive the hookup behavior of their peers. These results can be used to create safer sex promotion and educational measures in order to reduce students’ high risk sexual behaviors. Future studies might benefit by focusing on behavioral differences between social groups, such as fraternities, athletics, and across majors to determine if there is a social group that faces greater subjection to high risk sexual behaviors.



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