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Seeking Information About Sexual Health: Applying the Theory of Motivated Information Management


Corresponding author: Walid A. Afifi; e-mail:


Although considerable research attention has been devoted to studying the spread of HIV, recent attention to general sexual health has refocused attention to the far greater prevalence of other sexually transmitted infections. One way we might help control the spread of these infections is by better understanding the information management process as it relates to sexual health. Toward that effort, this investigation offers an empirical test of the Theory of Motivated Information Management (W. A. Afifi & Weiner, 2004), applying it to college students’ search for target-related sexual health information. The results contribute to our understanding of information-seeking processes, offer mixed results regarding the theory's utility in this context, and show an association between information seeking and safer-sex behavior.