AIDS AND THE COLLEGE STUDENT: KNOWLEDGE, BELIEFS, AND INFORMATION SEEKING
Shelnutt, Emily Houston
Beck, Kenneth H.
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A questionnaire on knowledge, beliefs, and information-seeking behavior about Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was administered to a total of 1,300 university students, and 1,001 were completed and returned. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between college students' knowledge and beliefs about AIDS and their information-seeking behavior about AIDS. Students were found to be knowledgeable about the disease, but the majority (50.5%) were not worried about contracting AIDS. The findings revealed that students who are more knowledgeable about AIDS seek more information than those less knowledgeable about AIDS. It was also found that students who feel more highly susceptible to AIDS are more likely to seek information about the disease. The primary sources of student information on AIDS were television, newspapers, magazines, and radio; however, doctors and health-care professionals were considered the most trust-worthy sources of AIDS information. The data suggest that medically supported information on AIDS should be provided to college students by health educators via the popular media sources.