Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Fall 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mental Health Counseling

Committee Chair

Dr. Terrence Schwartz

Second Committee Member

Dr. Susan Lonborg

Third Committee Member

Dr. Fred Washburn


The relationship between college students’ sense of purpose in life and their self-reported risky substance use and sexual behavior was investigated. Participants from a northwestern university (N = 174) answered questions online from questionnaires measuring meaning in life, alcohol use, substance use, sexual risk behavior, and social desirability. A MANCOVA analysis was conducted. The results demonstrated no statistically significant effects. Strengths and limitations of the study as well as directions for future research and therapeutic interventions are discussed.