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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

1-1-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Antonia Abbey

Abstract

The current study adds to the literature on misperceptions of sexual intent by using individual difference measures assessed at Time 1 to predict frequency of misperception of sexual intent at Time 2, one year later. Participants' self-reports of impulsivity, positive casual sexual attitudes and sex-related alcohol expectancies at Time 1 were hypothesized to be positively related to dating and sexual experiences, drinking in those situations, and frequency of misperception at Time 2. A large representative community sample of single men from the Detroit metropolitan area (N = 423) completed audio computer-assisted self-interviews on their dating experiences. Structural equation modeling was used to test separate mediation and interaction path analysis models. The mediation model produced better model fit. Results indicated that impulsivity has a central role in the misperception process. Drinking in dating and sexual situations partially mediated the relationship between dating and sexual experiences and misperception. Future misperception research should continue to utilize prospective analysis, and investigate other personality measures in addition to impulsivity. Interventions aimed at increasing impulse-control and decreasing problematic drinking behaviors are discussed.