Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Frederick A. Kosinski, Jr.

Second Advisor

Nancy J. Carbonell

Third Advisor

Jimmy Kijai


Problem. The purpose of this study was to ascertain if there is any relationship between religious beliefs, moral development, self-control, peer pressure, self-esteem, and premarital sex, providing for a comprehensive framework for understanding this phenomenon.

Method. Subjects were 148 undergraduates attending three schools in different geographic regions within the United States. Subjects were primarily between 18 and 25 years old. A survey was completed by 148 students. Data-were analyzed using Analysis of Variance and Independent-Samples t test.

Results. Of the 148 students who participated in the study, 38% were Black, Hispanic, 38% were White, non-Hispanic, 10% were Hispanic, and 4% were Biracial/Multiracial. Ninety-six percent of subjects stated that they belonged to a religious faith or church, and 4% stated that they did not. With regard to whether or not the subjects had premarital sexual intercourse, 33.8% had consensual sex, 55.4% did not have sex, 8.1% had sexand were forced, and 2.7% had sex but were unsure as to whether or not it was consensual. Of those subjects who did have premarital sex, 86% of those had sex with their boyfriend/girlfriend. With two exceptions, the 8.1% of subjects who were forced to have sex were female and forced or pressured by a boyfriend/girlfriend.

Most of the subjects, 49.3%, had principled morality scores in the low range. In regard to self-esteem, most of the subjects, 56.8%, scored in the average range. Self-control scores of subjects revealed that 74.3% scored in the average range. In relation to peer influence, 79.1% of subjects were not influenced by their peers on the nine issues studied. The Analysis of Variance and the Multivariate Analysis of Variance that was used to test hypotheses found non-significant differences between those who had sex and consented, those who did not have sex, those who had sex and were unsure, and those who had sex but did not consent, on religious beliefs,moral development, self-control, peer pressure, and self-esteem scores.

Conclusions. For the 148 subjects attending Seventh-day Adventist colleges, the non-significant results seemed to indicate that different factors may have been influencing this sample in their premarital sexual behavior.

Subject Area

Premarital sex, College students--Sexual behavior, College students--Religious life

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