Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 3-13-2023


Hudson, K. 2023. High-Risk Sexual Behavior in Nebraska Adolescents; History, Risk Factors, and Mediation. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Kiya Hudson 2023.


High-risk sexual behavior is a public health crisis that impacts adolescents at staggering rates. In Nebraska, rates of sexually transmitted infection (STI) and sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases have been on the rise over the last four years. The problem this paper addresses is the need to fill in the gaps in knowledge surrounding high-risk sexual behavior in Nebraska adolescents. It is important to address these gaps in knowledge because currently, we are failing our adolescents when it comes to providing them with all of the necessary skills, information, and tools to lead a healthy life. When we know how to address the issue, we will be better able to support the next generation.

This paper is a literature review that examines the history of sex education and research as well as potential risk factors, consequences, and mediation for high-risk sexual behavior. Potential risk factors for high-risk sexual behavior include troubled parent-child relationships, self-concept, and certain life experiences. Potential consequences include STD/ STI transmission and unwanted pregnancy. Potential mediation efforts can include comprehensive sex education, addressing culture, and improved parent-child relationships. The significance of these findings would be providing the information needed to better support adolescents in leading healthy, fulfilling lives.