Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This study tested the Health Belief Model as it has an impact on the likelihood of accepting AIDS-preventive behaviors. It also tested whether a clear image and perception of similarity to the type of person who becomes HIV infected affects level of risk behaviors. An Expanded Health Belief Model (HBM) was assessed using structural modeling techniques to determine its ability to explain the differentials in accepting AID-preventive behaviors and actual risk reduction. Personality factors were assessed using the Short Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS). Whether the sample was optimistically biased regarding personal susceptibility to HIV infection was also assessed. The HBM was not upheld. The research found that some, but not all factors associated with the HBM could be causal factors influencing likelihood of behavior change. Attitudes toward premarital sex, peer influence, and perceived similarity to the type of person who can become HIV infected were found to significantly affect likelihood of accepting AIDS-preventive behaviors. Higher scores on the Short SSS were associated with greater resistance to accepting AIDS-preventive behaviors. Both heterosexual and gay subjects were found to be optimistically biased. Despite this, a willingness to accept AIDS-preventive behaviors was suggested.



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