Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 429-451

First online:

AIDS-related health behavior: Coping, protection motivation, and previous behavior

  • Frank W. Van der VeldeAffiliated withUniversity of Amsterdam
  • , Joop Van der PligtAffiliated withUniversity of Amsterdam

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The purpose of this study was to examine Rogers' protection motivation theory and aspects of Janis and Mann's conflict theory in the context of AIDS-related health behavior. Subjects were 84 heterosexual men and women and 147 homosexual men with multiple sexual partners; LISREL's path-analysis techniques were used to evaluate the goodness of fit of the structural equation models. Protection motivation theory did fit the data but had considerably more explanatory power for heterosexual than for homosexual subjects (49 vs. 22%, respectively). When coping styles were added, different patterns of findings were found among both groups. Adding variables such as social norms and previous behavior increased the explained variance to 73% for heterosexual subjects and to 44% for homosexual subjects. It was concluded that although protection motivation theory did fit the data fairly adequately, expanding the theory with other variables-especially those related to previous behavior-could improve our understanding of AIDS-related health behavior.

Key words

AIDS protection motivation coping heterosexuals homosexuals