Document Type

Seminar Presentation

Publication Date



This original research, conducted for a dissertation completed in partial fulfillment for the degree of Doctor of Public Administration, sought to investigate whether collegiate, traditionally aged, undergraduate student risky behavioral choices rose during the study abroad experience as compared to when in the home collegiate environment. After investigating the literature related to domestic risky behavior, collegiate study abroad, and the intersections of tourism, an opportunity to connect these phenomena materialized. The anthropological concept of liminality served as the theoretical perspective that anchored the construction of this research. This study was conducted using a post-positivist epistemology, a non-experimental design, and an original survey instrument created for this study to investigate the phenomenon at hand.

Using statistical tests to analyze the dataset, this study resulted in nine major findings that have implications for public managers working as higher education administrators. For this study’s sample, students were found to have made riskier choices abroad as compared to while at home, especially if they engaged in significant alcohol-related risks prior to studying abroad. Liminal space played a positive role in identifying whether or not risky behavioral choices increased. The most novel finding connected both in that the contributing factors of experiencing liminal space in tandem with a pre-disposition for risky behaviors served as the most significant predictors of whether students will or will not take risks while studying abroad. Three recommendations for practice and seven future research opportunities emerged that may help to inform how this area of the research may continue to evolve.