Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Griffin, Robert

Second Advisor

Chattopadhyay, Sumana

Third Advisor

Wolburg, Joyce


The present study aims to examine the information seeking and processing behaviors about Human Papillomaviruses (HPVs) among Chinese female college students in the United States. HPV is the most prevalent sexually transmitted virus in the United States and all around the world. It is closely associated with cervical cancer, which is a major cause of death among women in developing countries. However, knowledge of the virus among women worldwide remains at low level despite of its severity and prevalence. Due to the fact that HPV vaccine is still going under clinical trials in China, the Chinese student body in the Unites States represents a huge market for HPV vaccination. The present study utilizes the model of Risk Information Seeking and Processing (RISP) to investigate the factors that motivate these students to seek and process information about HPV. The results indicated significant relationships of information insufficiency to information seeking, avoidance, systematic processing, and heuristic processing. Perceived gathering capacity was found related with all of the information seeking/processing variables. The study also found a moderate level of knowledge about HPV among Chinese female international students in the U.S. Other sociological and cognitive factors influencing the informational behaviors of Chinese students have also been identified.