HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of graduate university students: A comparative analysis
The purpose of this study was to measure graduate female students' HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors and to compare these measures with undergraduate female students' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors to determine if there were differences or ascertain whether relationships existed among these variables. This study also was to determine whether there were any correlations between graduate female students' HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors and their demographic characteristics (age, educational level, marital status, and ethnicity); to determine whether personal experiences with HIV/AIDS-impacted individuals or sources of information had any influence on graduate female students' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward HIV/AIDS. The sample in this study consisted of 102 randomly selected graduate female students from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. Data previously collected from a random sample of undergraduate female students in the Spring of 1992 at Texas Woman's University were compared with that gathered in this study. The students voluntarily completed a mailed, 88-item, anonymous HIV/AIDS Awareness Questionnaire. The results of the data analyses were tested at.05,.017, and.01 levels of significance, using three 1-sample t-tests, Pearson Product Moment correlations, and Point-Biserial correlation coefficient (rpb). The study findings indicated that undergraduate female students were significantly more knowledgeable than graduate female students. No such significance was found between these two groups in regard to their attitudes or behaviors. The Pearson Product Moment correlation test revealed that no significant interrelationship existed between knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to HIV/AIDS. To determine whether there were any relationships among age, marital status, educational level, and ethnicity and knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, the Point-Biserial correlation coefficient (rpb) test identified five significant relationships: between age and knowledge, between educational level and knowledge, between marital status and knowledge, between marital status and behavior, and between ethnicity and behavior. A Point-Biserial correlation test also revealed that no significant relationship was found between graduate students' HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors and their personal experiences with HIV/AIDS-impacted individuals. Further, a Point-Biserial correlation test revealed in this study that the graduate female students did indicate that having a doctor/health education and exposure to other information had a significant influence on their knowledge, but did not have any influence on their behavior as it relates to HIV/AIDS.