A training program for adolescents in HIV prevention communication skills; Participation OF celebrity athletes, results, and factors associated with positive change

A. T. Mastoris, A. M. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Communication skills are necessary for adolescents to negotiate abstinence or condom use. and may promote peer norms of HIV prevention. In this program, professional basketball players use their notoriety and ability to communicate with youth to assist educators in building communication skills about HIV prevention. Methods: Players and players' wives were trained in HIV/AIDS, and participated with educators in the one-day program. Boys and girls, ages 12 to 16, were recruited in each of two cities Baltimore, MD and Portland, OR. Questionnaires were administered orally to each participant within one week prior to and 8 to 16 weeks after the intervention. Responses were measured with limited ordinal scale or true/fatse answers. Linked pre and post tests were compared by chi-square test for dichotomous variables and student t-test for continuous variables. Results: In Baltimore, 184 people completed pre-tests, 126 participated and 30 completed post-tests. In Portland. 57 people completed pre-tests and participated and 28 completed post-tests. Those who completed post-tests were more likely to be from Portland, be nonAfrican American, and report not knowing someone living with HIV/AIDS.The 58 linked pre and post-tests form the basis for this analysis. Mean age was 13.1 years, 6596 are mate. 63% are African American. 76% reported prior sexual intercourse, and 11 % reported knowing a family member or friend living with HIV infection. Statistically significant improvements in knowledge were noted in 11 of 17 knowledge items, 6 of 7 attitude rtems, 3 of 4 subjective peer norm items, and 7 of 9 communication items. In accordance with the Theory of Reasoned Action, participants who reported increased ability to discuss HIV prevention with friends were more likely to believe that all young people should know about HIV prevention, that their friends should know more about HIV prevention, that they can influence friends to team about HIV prevention, and that their friends respect a person who talks to others about preventing HIV (p<0.05 for each association). Conclusion: A one day training with professional athletes and educators improved knowledge, attitudes, perceived peer norms and communication practices among adolescents. Despite limited follow-up and data about the direct influence of the athletes as role models, these results suggest that communication about HIV prevention among adolescents can be stimulated by a brief intervention. Future interventions should focus on building adolescents' belief in their ability to influence peers and belief that peers wilt respect them for discussing HIV prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-469
Number of pages2
JournalPediatric AIDS and HIV infection
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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