Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Department

African-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Josephine Bradley

Second Advisor

Dr. Regina Bryant

Third Advisor

Dr. Sandra Taylor

Abstract

This study conducted in Atlanta, Georgia examines the knowledge of HIV transmission and sexual behavior among Zimbabwean adolescent females. A total of 30 adolescents were interviewed using qualitative techniques. This study utilized the Social Cognitive Theory as the theoretical framework in that it maintains that behavior is largely regulated antecedently through cognitive processes. This study also employed Self-efficacy Theory, which is concerned with people’s beliefs in their capabilities to perform courses of action to attain a desired outcome. Awareness of risk perceptions helps young people to learn to see actions as causes of events and believe in the changeability of heath risks and risky habits. The researcher found that a majority of the adolescents had a high level of knowledge of HIV transmission. Although adolescents’ knowledge of condom use is relatively high, their usage lags far behind. The conclusions drawn from the findings suggest that adolescents are aware of HIV transmission, but are not applying their knowledge in practice. There is a gap between knowledge and action. Therefore, there is need to promote healthy sexual behavior. Effective educational programs that promote critical thinking, decision-making and skills that support the adoption of healthy behavio rs and the reduction of high-risk behaviors are necessary.

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