Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education


Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Third Advisor

Duane McBride


Problem. Few attempts have been conducted to assess knowledge of HIV/AIDS in the adolescent population attending Seventh-day Adventist secondary schools. This present study was to investigate the HIV/AIDS-related beliefs, HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, and HIV/AIDS-related behaviors of adolescents according to gender, grade level, ethnicity, geographical location, and religious affiliation.

Method. The subjects for this study were 1,292 9th- through 12th-grade students attending selected non-boarding Seventh-day Adventist academies representing three geographical regions of the United States and the Virgin Islands. The survey instrument utilized was the "AIDS Survey for Students" obtained from the U.S. Center for Disease Control. Chi-square analysis was used to analyze the relationship of gender, grade level, ethnicity, geographical location, and religious affiliation on the three variables of HIV/AIDS-related beliefs, knowledge, and behavior.

Results. Students were generally knowledgeable about how HIV/AIDS is spread through sharing needles used to inject drugs, and having sexual intercourse without using a condom. However, student responses to knowledge and beliefs items resulted in high percentages of misconceptions and misinformation relating to casual modes of HIV/AIDS transmission. Inconsistencies also appeared between the level of reported student knowledge and reported student high-risk sexual behaviors associated to HIV/AIDS.

Conclusions. Although knowledge of HIV/AIDS risks does not always prompt adolescents to practice safer sexualbehaviors, it is essential that adolescents receive accurate information concerning HIV/AIDS to enable them to make wise behavior decisions. Better education about routes of HIV/AIDS transmission is needed to dispel misconceptions and misinformation relating to casual modes of transmission. While Seventh-day Adventist students did not demonstrate greater knowledge about HIV/AIDS than previous groups tested with this type of instrument, they did show a lower trend of high-risk behavior.

Subject Area

AIDS (Disease)--Study and teaching (Secondary)

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