College students’ search for sexual health information from their best friends: An application of the theory of motivated information management

Leanne Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Guided by the theory of motivated information management, this study investigated the extent to which Singaporean college students' sexual health information-seeking behaviour could be accounted for by their anxiety of uncertainty discrepancy, their perceived outcomes of information seeking and their perceived confidence in seeking and coping with sexual health information acquired from their best friends. Taking into account that issue relevance may play a role in individuals' health decision-making, this study also examined the effect of perceived vulnerability on respondents' sexual health information-seeking behaviour. An online survey was conducted with 202 undergraduate students at a university in Singapore. Respondents were asked to report the frequency with which they sought four types of sexual health information from their best friends: unwanted pregnancy, abortion, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Survey data showed that respondents' uncertainty discrepancy was positively associated with their anxiety. Anxiety had negative effects on efficacy and outcome expectancy. Outcome expectancy was positively associated with efficacy. Both efficacy and perceived vulnerability accounted for a significant amount of variance in respondents' sexual health information-seeking behaviour. Findings from this study contribute to a better understanding of young adults' sexual health information behaviour in a Singapore context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-205
Number of pages10
JournalAsian Journal of Social Psychology
Volume17
Issue number3
Early online date8 Aug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication

User-Defined Keywords

  • anxiety
  • information seeking
  • perceived vulnerability
  • sexual health
  • Singapore
  • uncertainty

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