Sexual Behaviors, Mobile Technology Use, and Sexting Among College Students in the American South

Lucy A. Ingram, Mark Macauda, Carolyn Lauckner, Alyssa Robillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine sexual, mobile technology, and sexting behaviors of college students. Design: A cross-sectional study design was employed. Setting: Study sites were 2 universities in the southern United States. Subjects: Data were collected from 254 participants via online survey of college students. Measures: The survey included 268 items inclusive of measures from previously validated sources. Variables for this study included technology ownership/use, online/mobile dating site use, sexting behaviors/attitudes, and sexual behaviors. In particular, the Sexting Attitudes Scale has been previously validated with other researchers providing comparative data. Analysis: Chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests were used for group comparisons. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine predictors of sexting behavior. Results: Of the 254 participants, over 80% had ever had sex, and participants were more likely to use condoms with partners who they were not in a committed relationship compared to those to whom they were committed (χ2 = 27.324, P =.0001). Seventy percent had ever sexted, and sexting attitudes ranged from approximately 80% agreeing that sexting is “risky” or can leave one “vulnerable” compared to 43% agreeing that sexting is “fun.” Sexting was associated with having multiple sexual partners (odds ratio [OR] = 2.47, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.36-4.47) and sexually transmitted infection testing history (OR = 2.08, 95% CI: 1.03-4.18). Conclusion: Study findings should be considered as interventionists plan sexual health and risk prevention programs for college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • college students
  • mobile technology
  • sexting
  • sexual behavior
  • sexual health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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