Date of Award

8-1-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Health Education

First Advisor

Poock Wallace, Juliane

Second Advisor

Ogletree, Roberta

Abstract

AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF AKILAH MORRIS SMITH, for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Public Health, presented on April 11th 2018, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: KNOWLEDGE, INTENTIONS, AND BELIEFS ABOUT FERTILITY AND ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY AMONG ILLINOIS COLLEGE STUDENTS MAJOR PROFESSOR: Roberta Ogletree H.S.D and Juliane P. Wallace PhD The purpose of this quantitative cross sectional study was to examine knowledge, beliefs, and intentions about fertility and assisted reproductive technology among college students. This study differs from previous studies in that it examines knowledge, beliefs, and intentions about fertility and assisted reproductive technology among Illinois college students. Five hundred thirty six undergraduate students from six Illinois universities taking foundational health courses participated in this convenience sample study. Participants included three hundred and five females, 225 males, and five transgender students. The age ranges from 18-60. Five hundred and twenty students were childless. Three hundred and eleven students were single, 195 were in a committed relationship, and 16 were married. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) detected the differences among college students’ knowledge, beliefs, and intentions, based on race, sexual orientation, age, parental status, relationship status, and gender. Additionally Multiple Linear Regression analysis determined variations among race, sexual orientation, age, parental status, relationship status, and gender based on intentions, beliefs, and knowledge of fertility and ART treatment options. The first findings indicate that age, race and relationship status variables strongly impacted fertility intentions. The second findings reveal that gender and race impact beliefs influencing fertility and ART treatment options. None of the six variables significantly affected knowledge, which does not correlate with the literature. The students replied that they were not informed about women’s fertility as well as ART treatment options. Caucasians and older students’ intended on delaying parenthood supports the current literatures. According to Martinez, Daniels, and Chandra (2012), Caucasians are more likely to delay parenthood, which this research study supports. Secondly, Caucasians and males students had beliefs that supported the delaying of parenthood. Amongst the six groups, none of the groups affected knowledge. Daniluk and Koert (2012) show that while college student’s lack knowledge researchers are not sure what strongly predict their fertility and ART knowledge treatments.

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