Syreeta Scott

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Stephen Jefferson, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Tamara Loverich, PhD

Committee Member

Tom Schmitt, PhD


In an effort to explain the markedly high HIV infection rate for African American women, several theories have been posited. One theory suggests that expectations about relationships (i.e., relationship schemas and scripts) may be useful in explaining this phenomenon. Qualitative research has identified several relevant relationship scripts for this population that seem to be associated with safer sex behaviors; however, limited quantitative research has been conducted to confirm and validate these findings. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a psychometrically sound self-report measure of relationship schemas in African American women (N=441). After initial item generation, pilot testing using a focus group, and item elimination, the data were factor-analyzed to validate a Relationship Schema Scale for African American women, RSS-AA. The RSS-AA was also found to be meaningfully related to self-esteem and depression, factors that are independently related to safer sex behavior.

Included in

Psychology Commons