Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Griffin, Robert

Second Advisor

Wolburg, Joyce

Third Advisor

Chattopadhyay, Sumana


The number of Chinese students studying in the United States is increasing each year and studying in the U.S. provides them with more access to risk information of sexual activities than that of their counterparts in China. Chinese students in the U.S. have shown higher knowledge level about HIV/STI than Chinese students in China. However, their risk perceptions about HIV/STI are relatively low compared to American students due to a lack of formal sex education and a sex-conservative society. Method: this study collected 385 online surveys via Survey Monkey from Chinese students studying in the U.S. The questionnaire was designed to examine Chinese students’ risk perceptions and their information seeking and processing behaviors about HIV/STI. Results: the study showed that Chinese students were most motivated by their perceived informational gathering capacity to seek more information about HIV/STI (beta = .38, p ≤ .001) and process it in depth (beta = .30, p ≤ .001). Both informational subjective norms (beta = .16, p ≤ .001) and informational insufficiency (beta = .19, p ≤ .001) predicted information seeking behaviors but only informational subjective norms predicted significant systematic processing (beta = .17, p ≤ .001). However, current knowledge was very high and did not motivate processing behaviors. Future studies should explore motivations for information seeking and processing when current knowledge level is high and unable to motivate seeking and processing behaviors.