Research completed as part of the Research Methods course offered by Dr. Karen Yu in Fall 2007 has been published in the Journal of Young Investigators. Prevalence of Public Displays of Affection on a College Campus by Jay Hill '11 appears in the October 2008 Volume 19, Issue 4 of the undergraduate peer-reviewed journal. Jay is a double-major in economics and psychology.
Using two measures of self-report, we aimed to determine the prevalence of various displays of affection in public places on the campus of the University of the South (Sewanee). A questionnaire was administered to 260 Sewanee students living in dorms on campus and an interview was conducted with a separate, but not necessarily entirely different sample of 140 students. We hypothesized that the college environment of Sewanee would produce a high prevalence of public displays of affection (PDAs) (Afifi and Johnson 1999). The results supported the hypothesis, with 34.1% of questionnaire participants reporting having engaged in prolonged kissing in public in the semester during which the study was conducted. 57.9% of interview participants reported having engaged in prolonged kissing in public at some point during their time at Sewanee. Several nominal-scale correlations between other lifestyle choice responses and those relating to PDAs proved to be statistically significant. Despite some flaws in the wording of several questions, our results show that PDAs are common on the Sewanee campus. Further research will help determine whether the results from this study are characteristic of other environments. [Journal Abstract]
First published in December 1998, the entirely web-based Journal of Young Investigators began when Andrew Medina-Marino, while doing research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, wondered why undergraduate research was so invisible. The five founding members were students at Swarthmore College (two), Duke University (two), and Brown University. The national, independent, non-profit corporation run entirely by undergraduates has broadened from its original conception as a web journal to showcase undergraduate research to include other aspects of undergraduate science education.