Date of Award

Summer 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Robert Griffin

Second Advisor

James Pokrywczynski

Third Advisor

Sumana Chattopadhyay

Abstract

While a plethora of researchers have studied risk factors related to sexual violence, few studies have explored what differences account for the various ways women seek and process information about sexual violence. The study seeks to accomplish this by applying the Risk Information Seeking and Processing model (RISP) to the risk of sexual aggression on college campuses. RISP has been utilized to effectively explore the individual traits that influence how people seek and process risk information in a number of contexts. In analyzing a survey of 152 full-time female undergraduates at Marquette University, the results show that negative emotions and peer pressure are promising affective and cognitive factors that communication campaigns can influence in an attempt to improve information seeking and processing.