Toward a more complete understanding of reactions to hooking up among college women

Jesse Owen*, Kelley Quirk, Frank Fincham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Hooking up, a relatively common behavior among young adults, refers to a casual sexual encounter, ranging from kissing to sexual intercourse, without an expectation of ongoing physical encounters or relational commitment. Reactions to hooking up have examined psychosocial outcomes as a proxy for specific reactions. The present study examined the reactions of 190 college women, with a specific focus on the effect of hooking up on their social/peer network, their sexual/romantic sense of self, and their academic performance. Results demonstrated large positive effects for sexual/romantic reactions and social/academic engagement reactions in comparison with negative personal reactions. In addition, higher ratings of anxious attachment, loneliness, and relational/intimacy sex motives were related to less positive reactions, highlighting the importance of attachment and motivations behind hookup experiences. Implications for educational practice and future research are offered. © 2014

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-409
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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