Using the PRECEDE Model to Determine Junior High School Students' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs about AIDS

By Alteneder, Ruth R.; Price, James H. et al. | Journal of School Health, December 1992 | Go to article overview
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Using the PRECEDE Model to Determine Junior High School Students' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs about AIDS


Alteneder, Ruth R., Price, James H., Telljohann, Susan K., Didion, Judy, Locher, Ann, Journal of School Health


Adolescents face a high risk for HIV infection given their sexual behavior, variety of sexual activities in which they engage (intercourse, anal sex, and oral sex), their lack of contraceptive protection, and their drug use behavior. (1,2) They also face increased risk because of their impulsiveness, desire for immediate gratification, and their tendency to perceive themselves as invincible. Because of the long incubation period for development of AIDS (8-12 years), and because better than one in five AIDS cases are diagnosed between ages 20-29, at least one-fifth of AIDS cases probably develop during adolescence. (3)

The earliest study of adolescents' AIDS knowledge was conducted in 1983. (4) A multitude of surveys since then have found significant deficiencies in adolescents' AIDS-related knowledge and beliefs. (5-10) Some studies (11,12) that focused specifically on AIDS knowledge and beliefs of minority adolescents indicated further education about AIDS prevention is necessary to help maximize adolescents' understanding of AIDS.

While several studies have assessed adolescents' knowledge and beliefs of AIDS, fewer studies have assessed the effects of AIDS education programs in schools. Only eight studies that evaluated the effectiveness of AIDS education programs in secondary schools were identified (Table 1). These eight studies all contained evaluation instrument deficiencies. Five did not identify reliability assessments for their instruments, six did not report validity assessments, and none used instruments based on a theoretical behavioral model. (13-20) The evaluation instrument deficiencies bring into question the effectiveness of secondary school AIDS education programs.

Table 1
Effects of School-Based AIDS Education Programs
                                              Length
Study(Date)          N     Grade Level        Intervention

Miller & Downer      114   11th               50 Min.
(1988)
Johnson et al      1,294   12th               2 x 45 Min.
(1988)
DiClemente et al     230   Middle school      3 Class Periods
(1989)               136   High school        3 Class Periods
Brown et al          174   7th                2 x 45 Min.
(1989)               139   10th               2 x 45 Min.
Huszti et al         284   10th               45 Min.
(1989)
Ruder et al          358   10th, 11th, 12th   75 Min.
(1990)               504   7th                75 Min.
Farley et al         186   12th               2 x 45 Min.
(1991)
Brown et al        1,260   Junior high        4.7 Hours
(1991)             1,118   High school        4.7 Hours

Study(Date)        Outcomes *

Miller & Downer    13% increase in knowledge; 19% increase in tolerant
(1988)             attitudes
Johnson et al      9% increase in knowledge
(1988)
DiClemente et al   14% increase in knowledge
(1989)             16% increase in knowledge
Brown et al        11% increase in knowledge; 7% increase in tolerant
(1989)             attitudes; 10% decrease in attitudes toward
                   high-risk behavior; 20% increase in coping with
                   AIDS; 6% increase in knowledge; 10% increase in
                   tolerant attitudes, 20% increase in coping with a
                   friend with AIDS
Huszti et al       12%-15% increase in knowledge; 12%-20% increase in
(1989)             positive attitudes toward patients with AIDS; 2%-15%
                   increase in positive attitudes toward practicing
                   preventive behaviors
Ruder et al        6% increase in knowledge
(1990)             21% increase in knowledge
Farley et al       21% increase in knowledge (16% increase in control
(1991)             group knowledge)
Brown et al        13% increase in knowledge
(1991)             8% increase in tolerance toward people with AIDS
                   No change in intention to avoid AIDS-related risk
                   Behaviors **

* Where outcomes are given as a range of scores, this is because
results reported were by subgroups of respondents. 

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