Assessing the personal negative impacts of hooking up experienced by college students: gender differences and mental health
Further, differential item functioning DIF analysis was used to examine whether NIHI items performed differently for males and females. Item slopes a ranged from 0. Sufficient unidimensionality was determined by examining the ratio of the first and second eigenvalues greater than and model fit indices: root mean square error of approximation RMSEA; values less than.
For example, a partner not making contact after a hookup could have a different meaning for males and females. Further, those who have more negative hookup experiences or greater sexual regret are more likely to report poor psychological well-being Grello et al. It is possible that gender differences in NIHI scores reflect true gender differences in the underlying trait or differences in how males and females interpret and respond to items. For example, most measures have focused on exclusively affective responses to hooking up such as feelings of sexual regret, disappointment, confusion, being used, or isolation Fisher et al.
Hooking up can have both a positive and negative impact on college students. Participants who provided informed consent were immediately directed to an online survey. While most students report more positive than negative affect following a hookup, Lewis et al. Test information provides an indicator of how well the total group of items estimates hookup risk across the range of trait scores.
While the majority of past studies are correlational and the causal relationship between hooking up and psychological well-being remains unclear, there does appear to be a positive relationship between hooking up and psychological distress, and this relationship may be stronger for female than male students. For instance, while regret for females is more likely to be related to feelings of shame or being used, males are more likely to report regret over choice of Chandler ks hookup partner and partner unattractiveness Fisher et al.
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All data reported in the current analyses were collected prior to any alcohol intervention. Participants reported the of times they had hooked up and the of different partners they had hooked up with in the past three months.
Hooking up is a normative behavior among college students that is associated with a range of positive and negative consequences. Learn More. An additional aim of the current study was to explore gender differences in the negative impacts of hooking up. In addition to negative emotional responses, hooking up is related to a of health risks. In order to assess the range of negative impacts associated with hooking up i. Table 1 presents the parameter estimates and standard errors of the remaining 16 items.
Hooking up is also associated with a range of negative emotional, health and social consequences Lewis et al. In addition, item information functions IIFstest information, and test standard error of measurement plots were obtained.
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Contrary to expectations, there were no gender differences in the total of negative hookup effects, although males reported more frequent hookups. The location parameters b ranged from 0. Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Past research suggests that more frequent hookups and a greater of hookup partners are associated with negative affect and health outcomes Fielder et al.
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In addition to sexual Chandler ks hookup, casual sex is associated with psychological distress, including anxiety and depression, as well as low self-esteem and reduced life satisfaction Bersamin et al. Larger values of a indicate that an item is more discriminating. The majority of the sample identified as White In terms of ethnic composition, Prior to answering hookup related questions, participants were provided with an operational definition of hooking up used in prior research e.
A more in depth understanding of the variety of negative outcomes associated with hooking up for both males and females could inform college intervention and prevention efforts Lewis et al. Indeed, females are more likely than males to report concerns over loss of reputation after causal sex Campbell, Despite the growing interest in the negative impacts of hooking up for college students, there has been a dearth of research aimed at developing measures of negative consequences experienced as a result of hooking up.
DIF occurs when the probability of endorsing an item at a given level of the trait assessed i. Item location b indicates item difficulty with larger b values indicating that a participant needs to be at higher risk in order to be likely to endorse an item. While this measure expands on the negative responses to hooking up assessed in studies, the measure was not deed to assess more general negative emotional responses and health outcomes associated with hooking up e.
One consequence of hooking up that has received relatively little attention in the literature is the impact of hooking up on social relationships. Each potential anchor item was then evaluated against the other potential anchor items, and items that did not demonstrate DIF at this stage were retained as anchors. Despite the limited research examining the negative impacts of hooking up Fielder et al. The current paper explores the relationships among the negative impacts of hooking up, hooking up behaviors, and psychological distress in college students.
Hookups commonly involve alcohol use LaBrie et al. Finally, we examined the relationship between the item NIHI and of hooking partners, frequency of hooking up, and occurrence of unprotected sex Chandler ks hookup a hookup.
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The items were based on qualitative and quantitative research examining the negative emotional, social, and health impacts of hooking up Campbell, ; Fisher et al. First, a model with all parameters constrained to be equal for the two groups was compared to a model where parameters for each item were estimated separately.
Mean and variance adjustment weighted least-squares estimation was employed with a Geomin rotation. IRT has a of benefits over the classical test theory approach including the estimation of standard error conditional on trait level and the evaluation of item equivalence across groups i.
In addition to unprotected sex, hooking up is related to having multiple, concurrent partners Paik,further increasing sexual health risk. The final sample of participants who completed the hookup consequences measure was adequate for both factor analysis and IRT analysis Brown, ; de Ayala, As part of the larger alcohol study, a subset of participants who reported heavy episodic drinking e. Item response options range from: 0 Did not apply to me at all to 3 Applied to me very much, or most of the time. In addition, negative impacts of hooking up were positively associated with psychological distress regardless of gender.
Hooking up has been defined as a casual consensual sexual encounter e. Item information indicates how well each item Chandler ks hookup among individuals and provides an index of item precision. Participants were undergraduate students from three US universities taking part in a larger alcohol intervention study. In total, The most commonly reported negative hooking up outcomes included regret over a specific partner All items were positively loaded on the single factor factors loading. The NIHI may offer a useful tool to assess the negative impacts of hooking up.
Unprotected sex and having more hookup partners were associated with greater negative experiences of hooking up. Further, given research demonstrating that negative experiences of hooking up are associated with poorer psychological well-being Grello et al. Following the recommendations of Millsap and Maydeu-Olivaresa G 2 value of less than 3. Anchor items were used to evaluate DIF in the remaining 10 study items.
While hooking up is predominantly a positive experience for Chandler ks hookup students, a better understanding of the negative impacts of this behavior has the potential to inform college sexual health intervention efforts. For example, Downing-Matibag and colleagues found that approximately half of students report being unconcerned about the risks of contracting a sexually transmitted infection STI from hooking up, and most were unaware of the risks of STIs from unprotected oral sex performed while hooking up.
Overall, females appear to experience more sexual regret than males following a hookup Fisher et al. A likelihood-ratio test statistic G 2 was used to test the null hypothesis that parameters i. This item measure examines both positive and negative responses to hooking up and includes a 7-item subscale assessing social and academic problems associated with hooking up e.
We, therefore, anticipated that students who engage in more frequent hookups and have more hookup partners would report more negative impacts.
On average, participants reported having 2. A two-parameter IRT model was applied to the data using Multilog version 7. IRT calibration was used to examine item characteristics. Gender differences in negative consequences were also examined. Existing measures are often limited in scope and few studies report on the psychometric properties of the measures employed.
Further, this scale was developed in a sample of female students, and research examining a broader range of negative impacts of hooking up in more diverse samples is needed. Given these findings, it is not surprising that engaging in more hookups is associated with a greater likelihood of STIs Fielder et al.
These students were sent an invitation to participate in the study and a link to an online informed consent.
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The sites included a large public university in the Northwest, a private West Coast university, and a large public university in the South. Using a multi-site sample of college students, we developed the item Negative Impact of Hookups Inventory NIHI to assess negative health outcomes, emotional responses, and social consequences associated with hooking up.
Sum composites of all items within a subscale were created, with higher scores indicating greater levels of distress. Further research is needed to examine gender differences in negative responses to hooking up.