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Exploring teenagers' adaptive and maladaptive thinking in relation to the threat of hiv infection

journal contribution
posted on 1994-05-01, 00:00 authored by Charles AbrahamCharles Abraham
Teenagers' HIV-preventive cognitions were explored within a protection motivation theory framework. Five hundred and seven adolescent men and women from two cohorts (sixteen and eighteen) completed a confidential postal questionnaire. The effect of demographic variables, previous sexual experience and appraisal of threat and coping resources upon HIV-relevant cognitions was investigated using path analysis. Cognitions promoting (adaptive) and inhibiting (maladaptive) preventive behaviour were considered. Anticipated condom use, intention to limit number of sexual partners and willingness to consider an HIV antibody test were included as adaptive HIV-preventive cognitions. Coping appraisal measures were strongly associated with anticipated condom use but threat appraisal measures were not. Gender, previous sexual experience, coping appraisal measures and denial accounted for 33% of the variance in anticipated condom use. Overall the results provided qualified support for Protection Motivation Theory. Implications for health education are highlighted. © 1994, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

History

Journal

Psychology & Health

Volume

9

Issue

4

Pagination

253 - 272

ISSN

0887-0446

eISSN

1476-8321