Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Elvin Gabriel

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Third Advisor

Carole Woolford-Hunt



The primary purpose of the current research was to understand the influence of considerable social-cultural factors, including pornography consumption, religiosity, and family sexual communication, on the sexual values and behaviors of the emerging adult population. Particularly, how pornography consumption, religiosity, and family sexual communication influence emerging adult engagement in hookup culture was examined.


Participants completed several surveys, which measured participants’ pornography consumption, personal religiosity, family sexual communication, and engagement in hookup culture. A path analysis model was used to analyze the relationship between the proposed variables.


The path analysis model indicated that the initial model was a poor fit for the data. The model, therefore, was revised based on the modification indices. The revised model was found to be a good fit to the data. The revised model indicated that family sexual communication and pornography consumption had positive, direct effects on hookup engagement. The model also showed that religiosity had a negative, direct effect on hookup engagement, while family sexual communication had a positive correlation with pornography consumption and a direct effect on religiosity. Altogether, the model accounted for 6% of the variance in hookup engagement and 5% of the variance in religiosity.


The present study contributed to the body of literature by providing a degree of understanding into the sexual behaviors of the emerging adult population, specifically college students. The results of the study indicated that parental sexual communication serves as an important factor in the development of sexual behaviors, attitudes, and self-conception. Hookup culture is a pervasive phenomenon with numerous contributing factors that present potential risks to emerging adult populations. Mental health professionals must take the knowledge gained from the present research and assist parents, educators, and other helping professionals in becoming competent sexual communicators, as well as to assist clients in making safe, sexually healthy decisions.

Subject Area

Pornography; Religiousness; Sexual behavior surveys; Promiscuity

Creative Commons License

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

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Psychology Commons