Study of Long-term Efficacy and Mechanisms Underlying the Impact of a Web-based Sexual and Relationship Health Promotion Program With Young Adult Community College Students

  • End date
    Sep 30, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Innovation Research & Training
Updated on 8 August 2021


Community college students are an underserved and at-risk population in terms of their sexual and relationship health. This is a three-arm randomized control trial to evaluate the long-term efficacy of a web-based sexual and relationship health promotion program among U.S. community college students (expected N = 2010) and explore the mechanisms underlying the program efficacy.


Community college students are an underserved and at-risk population in terms of their sexual and relationship health. One promising avenue for improving sexual decision making among this population is media literacy education (MLE). Though studies show MLE is an effective approach to sexual health promotion there is a need to better understand the mechanisms by which MLE programs impact health outcomes. The ultimate goals of this study are to 1) advance theoretical frameworks of media literacy to better understand the underlying mechanisms that lead to sexual health behavior change and 2) enhance the sexual and relationship health of community college students by identifying successful methods of health promotion and strategies to implement health programs at community colleges. This study is a three-arm randomized control trial (RCT) with 2010 community college students (ages 18-19) from 30 colleges across the U.S. All components of this study (i.e., interventions, surveys) are web-based.

Participating students will be randomized to one of three conditions: 1) students who receive a sexual health program grounded in MLE (Media Aware); 2) students who receive a sexual health program with no MLE; and 3) a wait-list control group. Participants will complete pretest, posttest, 6-month follow-up, and 12-month follow-up surveys to examine changes across the three groups in our primary outcomes (e.g., risky sexual behavior) and secondary outcomes (e.g., sexual health knowledge, rape myth acceptance, perceived realism of media messages).

Condition Domestic Violence, Sexual Behavior, Sexual Assault
Treatment Media Aware for Young Adults, Health Aware for Young Adults
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04950686
SponsorInnovation Research & Training
Last Modified on8 August 2021


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Inclusion Criteria

Students must be 18 or 19 years of age
Students must attend one of the community colleges from which this study is recruiting participants
Students must have an email address to receive study communication
Students must have access to a computer, tablet, or phone device with internet access as the questionnaires and programs are web-based
Students must be able to speak and read English because the study materials (e.g., questionnaires, programs) are in English

Exclusion Criteria

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