A Short-Term Longitudinal Investigation of Hookups and Holistic Outcomes Among College Students

  • Stephanie Winkeljohn BlackEmail author
  • Gabrielle Kaminsky
  • Amy Hudson
  • Jesse Owen
  • Frank Fincham
Original Paper


Majority of college students hook up at least once during their time in school. The literature on casual sex encounters among college students is growing, though most studies are cross-sectional and individual studies focus on few outcomes at a time, leaving piecemeal and mixed results. The current longitudinal study clarifies prior work by analyzing how post-event process (PEP), an understudied construct within the hookup literature, and emotional (i.e., positive or negative) hookup reactions interact to predict a breadth of outcomes, representing holistic student well-being. The inclusion of PEP reframes the current literature to consider PEP as a predictor variable of hookup outcomes, as moderated by emotional hookup reactions. This is consistent with literature indicating emotional experiences affect PEP across a variety of incidents. Participants (N = 377, 87.6% female) completed self-report measures at 2-month intervals. We tested relationships between the main and interaction effects of PEP and emotional hookup reactions as a moderation regression analyses on anxiety, academic engagement, religious coping, and psychological flourishing. The main effect of PEP predicted more anxiety and less negative religious coping, negative hookup reactions predicted more anxiety, and positive hookup reactions predicted more flourishing. Regarding interaction effects, high levels of positive hookup reactions and PEP were associated with less anxiety, less academic engagement, more negative religious coping, and less psychological flourishing; high levels of negative hookup reactions and PEP were associated with less anxiety and more negative religious coping and were unrelated to academic engagement or flourishing over two months.


Hookup reactions Post-event processing Anxiety Academic engagement Religious coping Casual sex 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Social SciencesPenn State HarrisburgMiddletownUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA
  3. 3.College of Human SciencesFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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