Early adolescents' knowledge of and attitudes toward HIV and AIDS

Blackwell, Gail Frances
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This study was undertaken to determine if there was a difference in knowledge of and attitudes toward HIV/AIDS between female and male participants; and to ascertain whether knowledge and attitudes were correlated within each group; and whether there were any relationships among ethnicity, gender, and HIV/AIDS-related knowledge and attitudes. The population consisted of 188 sixth-grade students in a rural school district in Ellis County, Texas. The AIDS Survey for Students was administered at the beginning of the 1990 fall semester to students in the science classes. A one-way multivariate analysis of variance with Hotelling's T\sp2 showed that the females were significantly more knowledgeable than the males. There was no significant difference concerning their attitudes. There was no significant correlation between knowledge and attitudes. To determine whether there were any relationships among gender, ethnicity, knowledge, and attitudes, the Spearman Rank Order Correlation test revealed two significant relationships: between gender and knowledge, with females more knowledgeable; and between ethnicity and attitudes, with Blacks showing a more positive attitude than Whites toward HIV/AIDS. Overall results indicate that early adolescents are knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS in general, though some misconceptions about transmission methods still exist.

Health education, Immune deficiency, Education