Date of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Michael Madson

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Bonnie Nicholson

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Richard Mohn

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Research and Administration


The narrowing gender gap regarding consumption has resulted in more alcoholrelated consequences specific to females. Compared to males, females report more sexual consequences, such as doing something they later regret, as a result of alcohol consumption. For this reason, there is a vital need for researchers to identify active methods that females can engage in while consuming alcohol in order to reduce the risk of unwanted sexual experiences (UWS). Protective behavioral strategies (PBS) have been shown to decrease overall alcohol-related consequences, but further investigation is needed to determine which strategies are most influential in reducing the occurrence of specific alcohol-related negative consequences (e.g., unwanted sexual experiences). The purpose of this study is to determine whether PBS use mediates the relationship between alcohol consumption and UWS in female college students. Additionally, the present study seeks to determine which type of PBS (limiting stopping drinking, manner of drinking, or serious harm reduction) is most influential in mediating the relationship between alcohol consumption and UWS. Based on the literature, it is hypothesized that PBS use will serve as a mediator and that serious harm reduction strategies will be most influential in mediating the relationship. Various measures of alcohol consumption, UWS, and PBS use will be administered via online surveys to female undergraduates from a mid-sized Southern university. Path analysis will be conducted to assess the relationship between alcohol consumption, PBS use, and UWS. Clinical and research implications will be discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons