Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


AIDS (Disease)--Study and teaching;


The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of three instructional methods (unit only, unit plus infusion, and infusion only) for teaching high school students about Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Education, offered consistently and over time, can assist individuals in developing positive health behaviors associated with the prevention of AIDS. Successful implementation of community and school-based education programs can save lives in the years ahead (Taff,1987).

Four sections (N = 80) of a health education course were randomly assigned to one of four treatment conditions. The unit only treatment consisted of the presentation of the 4-session, Red Cross WEDGE program taught by a certified AIDS educator. The infusion only treatment consisted of the infusion AIDS related information into 11 lessons of the regular health curriculum taught by the school's health teacher. The unit plus infusion consisted of both the WEDGE unit and the infusion lessons. All participants completed the AIDS Assessment Intrument for Measuring Student Outcomes (AAISMO) at three times of testing: before the presentation of the WEDGE unit (pretest), after the presentation of the WEDGE unit (immediate posttest) ,and after the 11 week infusion period (delayed posttest). The test yielded a score for each of the following components: knowledge, attitude, and intention to act.

A repeated measures 4 x 3 ANOVA was used to determine if there wee difference in scores obtained on the AAIMSO as a function of instructional method, time of testing, and interaction of time of testing and instructional method. Additionally, correlation analysis were perfoemed among the various components of the AAIMSO.

Results revealed that the correlation coefficients between attitude and knowledge and intention to act were statistically significant (values in the neighborhood of .43). No statistically significant correlations were found between knowledge and intention to act.

On the knowledge component of the AAIMSO, results of the ANOVA revealed a statistically significant main effect for instructional method, a significant time of testing effect, and significant interaction effect. On the attitude component results indicated a significant main effect for time of testing and a significant interaction effect. For the intention to act component no statistically significant effects were found.

From the interaction effects it is inferred that, although at pretest students exhibited high levels of knowledge. The WEDGE unit was effective in increasing students' scores on the knowledge components of the AAIMSO. The WEDGE unit was also effective in fostering more desirable attitudes toward AIDS related issues. The changes observed from the pretest to immediate posttest among students receiving the WEDGE unit were maintained over time. The lack of changes observed in the intention to act component could be attributed to initial low risk behaviors as well as the lack of specificity of behaviors assessed by the AAIMSO.

Results showed that the infusion method did not yield significant changes in scores form immediate posttest to delayed posttest. The lack of impact of the infusion only method can be explained by schema theory. The lack of change among the unity plus infusion method might be explained by a ceiling effect on the AAIMSO after receiving the WEDGE unit. The implications of these finding for developing effective school-based AIDS education programs are discussed.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Charles Dedrick, Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Carmen Montecinos, Co-Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 134 pages)



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