Date of Graduation

Fall 2010


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Kathryn Hope


substance use, sexual assault, risky sexual behavior, social sorority or fraternity member, athlete

Subject Categories



Students attending four year universities engage in substance use that is beyond the use of the general public (LaBrie, Rodrigues, Schiffman, & Tawalbeh, 2007). The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors and behaviors that put this population at risk for increased use of substances and the impact of substance abuse on risky sexual behaviors and sexual assault among single college students from 18-24 years of age. The frameworks of Healthy People 2010 and Healthy Campus 2010 were used to guide this study. A descriptive survey design was used to evaluate three semesters of secondary data collected from Fall 2008 to Fall 2009 in a nationwide survey conducted by the National College Health Association (NCHA) (N=78,090). Study findings include: alcohol was the most used substance (66.9%) in the last 30 days, followed by marijuana and cigarette use; males had significantly increased use of all types of substances, and type of athletic involvement and sorority or fraternity membership had a significant relationship on which types of substances were used. Number of sex partners had a statistically significant relationship to the use of alcohol in the past 30 days with a Pearson r= .276. Also alcohol use was correlated with reported negative consequences, such as sex without giving or getting consent, and unprotected sex. The results of this study should be used to develop health promotion, disease prevention, and abuse prevention programs by universities and colleges.


© Emily Diane Kruse

Campus Only