Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Clinical Psychology

Document Type



Personalized normative feedback (PNF) interventions provide corrective normative feedback and have been found to successfully elicit behavior change (e.g., related to alcohol consumption, gambling). There are no known PNF interventions that explicitly target risky sexual behavior (RSB). PNF interventions have demonstrated significant reductions on drinking outcomes and normative perceptions, highlighting the potential utility of a PNF intervention specifically for RSB. The current study tested the utility of a web-based PNF intervention to correct normative perceptions regarding condom use as well as to increase condom use among college students. A sample of 189 undergraduate students (80.6% female, 62.2% non-Hispanic Caucasian) who reported engaging in intercourse over the past month completed the study online and were randomized to one of two conditions: (1) PNF (n = 95) or (2) attention-control (n = 94). At a one-month follow-up, students reported on their condom use and perception of other students’ condom use. At follow-up, conditions did not significantly differ on norms or condom use. In the PNF condition, students who endorsed lower baseline perceived normative beliefs exhibited significantly greater normative beliefs at follow-up, however students who endorsed lower baseline condom use did not exhibit greater condom use at follow-up. Potential for an iatrogenic effect of the PNF intervention (i.e., a decrease in condom use among individuals whose baseline use was higher than the norm) was evaluated; the overall effect was nonsignificant. Continued research efforts in this area are necessary to identify intervention strategies to best target college student condom use.



Committee Chair

Buckner, Julia