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Development, Validation, and Exploratory Utilization of the Sexuality-Affirming/-Negating Sexual Socialization Messaging Measure

Ballard, Adrian J. (2023) Development, Validation, and Exploratory Utilization of the Sexuality-Affirming/-Negating Sexual Socialization Messaging Measure. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The role of sexual socialization in determining individuals’ future sexual attitudes and behaviors has been largely overlooked as a site for research and potential interventions to address sexuality-related social challenges in the United States, such as coercive, violent, or otherwise harmful sexual behavior. The few existing psychometric instruments that measure characteristics of sexual socialization focus primarily on communication content, without characterizing the nature of messaging in order to evaluate how the prominence of certain attitudinal perspectives conveyed through sexual socialization messaging (SSM) relates to outcomes of interest. Numerous existing measures of sexual attitudes focus on respondents’ own perspectives rather than those which are embedded in and conveyed through SSM. An instrument that combines the functions of existing sexual socialization and sexual attitudes measures, in order to examine the prominence of attitudinal dispositions conveyed through SSM, has not previously been developed.
The purpose of this study was to develop, validate, and test the utility of the Sexuality-Affirming/-Negating Sexual Socialization Messaging Measure (SANSSMM), a new instrument to assess the nature of SSM U.S. young adults received from their parents and peers during adolescence. The study involved three phases. In Phase One, SANSSMM items were developed and selected, informed by theoretical and empirical literature, content expert feedback, and cognitive interviews. Phase Two involved testing the internal consistency reliability, factorial validity, and convergent/discriminant validity of the preliminary measure, using data collected in an online survey of 18- to 33-year-old U.S. residents (N = 284). In Phase Three, the SANSSMM was utilized in exploratory analyses to test possible associations between Sexuality-Affirming and Sexuality-Negating SSM prominence in participants’ adolescence and their current levels of sex-positive and sex-negative attitudes, as well as past use of coercive sexual strategies.
The final SANSSMM consists of 17 items and exhibits good reliability and validity in the current study. Its use in exploratory analyses suggests it is a promising tool that can shed light on how the nature of SSM individuals receive during adolescence relates to the manifestation of global sexual attitudes and coercive sexual behaviors. Identifying these relationships can inform new understandings of and approaches to ameliorating sexuality-related social challenges.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ballard, Adrian J.ajb283@pitt.eduajb2830000-0001-6319-7793
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairGartner, Rachel E.reg59@pitt.edureg59
Committee CoChairGoodkind, Sara A.sag51@pitt.edusag51
Committee MemberDodd,
Committee MemberEngel, Rafael J.rengel@pitt.edurengel
Date: 2 August 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 July 2023
Approval Date: 2 August 2023
Submission Date: 28 June 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 193
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Social Work > Social Work
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: sexual socialization, sexual attitudes, sex-positivity, sex-negativity, measure development
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2023 19:56
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 19:56


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