247186 Role of sexual risk and coupling behaviors in community college degree completion

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 5:30 PM

Janet E. Rosenbaum, PhD, AM , Maryland Population Research Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
The Obama administration prioritizes increasing community college completion rates, which is currently only about 20%. The roles of sexual and coupling behaviors in community college degree completion are poorly understood because major longitudinal studies focus on 4 year college students. This study uses Add Health waves 3 and 4 to compare students at 2 and 4 year colleges (n=5042) and identify factors that predict community college non-completion within 7 years. Preliminary analysis used separate survey-weighted logistic regressions for each sexual risk measure, adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, Peabody vocabulary test score, mother's education level, and full-time enrollment. Subsequent analysis will use coarsened exact and propensity score matching. Compared with 4 year college students, community college students were more likely to test positive for chlamydia (odds ratio (OR) 2.5, 95% confidence interval (1.5, 4.1)), to have been paid for sex (OR 2.8 (1.1, 6.9)), have a partner with a sexually transmitted infection (OR 1.6 (1.0, 2.4)), want to marry now (OR 1.3 (1.0, 1.7)), have ever cohabited (OR 2.2 (1.7, 2.9)), and to express willingness to drop-out (1.9 (1.1, 3.3)) or go to school part-time (1.4 (1.1, 1.9)) for marriage. Seven years later, 53% of community college students had earned a postsecondary degree. In separate multivariate regressions, cohabitation (OR 0.6 (0.5, 0.9)) and willingness to go to school part-time for marriage (OR 0.6 (0.4, 0.9)) predicted non-completion. Community college students are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections. Willingness to sacrifice studies for romantic relationships may derail degree completion.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Biostatistics, economics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Learning objectives: 1. From attending this session, participants will be able to differentiate sexual and coupling patterns of community college and 4 year college students. 2. Participants will be able to explain how matched sampling can control for confounding within diverse samples. 3. Participants will be able to analyze barriers to community college degree completion that future interventions could address.

Keywords: Education, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I research risk behavior of community college students using statistical analysis of nationally representative data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.