College students sexual health: Personal responsibility or the responsibility of the college?

Kate E. Lechner, Carolyn M. Garcia, Ellen A. Frerich, Katherine Lust, Marla E. Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objective: This article examines students perceptions of individual and institutional responsibility for sexual health so that institutions can better provide for the needs of their students to increase academic success and healthy relationship outcomes. Participants: Students from 2-and 4-year colleges in 1 state (N = 78). Methods: From May through November 2010, the authors used go-along interviews to examine students perceptions of resources for sexual health on their campuses. Results: Participants believed that it is the college's responsibility to provide resources and the responsibility of students to access resources. Participants at 2-year schools wanted referrals to resources, whereas participants at 4-year schools expected resources to be available and emphasized the importance of a supportive community. Conclusions: Students at 2-and 4-year colleges have different expectations of their institutions; by making resources and referrals for sexual health available, colleges can better serve their students, which will result in improved health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article: This project is funded by grant R40MC17160 (M.E. Eisenberg, principal investigator) through the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Research Program, and by Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health grant K12HD055887 (N. Raymond, principal investigator) from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development.


  • emerging adulthood
  • health information seeking
  • health promotion
  • personal responsibility
  • sexuality/sexual health


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