The relationship of health belief model variables, perceived self-efficacy, internal-external locus of control, and knowledge about AIDS to the practice of safer sex : a survey of community college students

Date

1990

Authors

Willis, Amy Catherine, 1953-

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore relations between Health Belief Model variables (demographics, cues to action, seriousness, susceptibility, benefits, and barriers), perceived self-efficacy, internal-external locus of control, and knowledge about AIDS and the associated outcomes of practicing safer sex and intentions to practice safer sex. A questionnaire, comprised primarily of measures constructed by the author, was completed by 323 community college students. Seventy-one heterosexual subjects were identified as practicing safer sex. Results of a comparison of means indicated that heterosexuals currently practicing safer sex identified significantly greater benefits and fewer barriers to practicing safer sex, evidenced higher levels of perceived self-efficacy, and held a more internal locus of control than did sexually active heterosexuals not currently practicing safer sex. A discriminant function analysis predicted correct classification of 60% of all cases. In addition, both groups had a high level of knowledge about AIDS and indicated that they felt highly susceptible to AIDS, which they identified as a fairly serious disease. The only demographic variable which yielded significant results was marital status; that is, sexually active heterosexuals living alone perceived themselves to be somewhat more susceptible to AIDS than did those who were cohabiting. Comparable analyses were performed for intentions to practice safer sex. Heterosexual subjects who intend to practice safer sex were significantly more likely to feel susceptible to AIDS, identified greater benefits and fewer barriers to practicing safer sex, evidenced higher levels of perceived self-efficacy, and were more knowledgeable about AIDS than those subjects who did not intend to practice safer sex. For this comparison of means, internal-external locus of control and seriousness of AIDS were not significant. When a discriminant function analysis was performed utilizing all seven variables, locus of control entered into the equation and benefits dropped out. Correct classification of 73.8% of all cases was predicted. One of the cues to action, having AIDS discussed in a college class, was significantly related to intentions to practice safer sex. Other supplementary analyses are reported. Discussion of these results, limitations of the study, and implications for future research are presented

Description

Citation