We wish to acknowledge the helpful assistance of Jill G. Joseph, who provided us with a copy of the questionnaire, entitled Coping and Change: A Survey of Chicago Men, used in the 1986 study by Emmons et al.
Perceived Peer Norms, Casual Sex, and AIDS Risk Prevention1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 22, Issue 23, pages 1809–1827, December 1992
How to Cite
Winslow, R. W., Franzini, L. R. and Hwang, J. (1992), Perceived Peer Norms, Casual Sex, and AIDS Risk Prevention. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 22: 1809–1827. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1992.tb00978.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
To facilitate more effective AIDS education with heterosexual college students, an etiological study of AIDS risk behavior was conducted on a sample of 1,035 students at a large western university. In this study, “AIDS risk behavior” refers to participation in casual sex, failure to use condoms, and resistance to changing casual sex activity. Knowledge regarding AIDS had no significant correlation with AIDS-risk behavior. However, “perceived peer norms” (termed Peer Norm in this study) was a major predictor variable in AIDS risk behavior. Peer Norm was defined as perceived AIDS-risk attitudes and the behavior of one's peers. These findings contrast some what with those of Emmons et al.'s (1986) study of homosexual men. This difference may be due to the focus in the present study upon heterosexual university students as subjects. For this group, our results suggest that programs targeting the peer group in AIDS prevention education are especially needed. These might include peer-based AIDS education, emotion-oriented discussion sessions, encounters with “Peers-with-AIDS” models, and role-playing of assertive responses.