chapter  5
18 Pages

Substance Use and HIV/STI Risk Behaviors Among College Students

According to the 2013 ARIS (American Religious Identification Survey) study, 64.2" of college students in the United States (US) identify their worldview as either religious or spiritual; thus, religion or spirituality is important in the lives of many college-age young adults. The Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) engaged in the first national longitudinal study of undergraduates' spiritual growth. Researchers found that students' overall level of religious struggle increases during the college years. Increased risk of HIV (Human Immune deficiency Virus) and STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) among college students is a result of a combination of factors, including serial monogamy and smaller sex networks that are fueled by disparity in male to female college enrollment. Religion and spirituality have been referred to in many studies as protective factors against sexual risk and other associated risk behaviors in adolescents and young adults.