Journal of Community Health

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 259–269 | Cite as

Structuring HIV prevention service delivery systems on the basis of social science theory

  • Ronald O. Valdiserri
  • Gary R. West
  • Melinda Moore
  • William W. Darrow
  • Alan R. Hinman


In order to identify the optimal configuration of HIV prevention programs, it is necessary to examine different theoretical models of behavior change. Cognitive/decision-making theories of human behavior change are compared to social learning theories vis-a-vis their influence on the structure of service delivery systems. Cognitive/decision-making theories ascribe behavior change to the provision of new information and favor the development of homogeneous interventions providing clients with information about risk behaviors. These interventions are easily standardized across delivery sites and various target populations. Social learning theories view behavior change as a series of stages and recognize the influence of sociocultural variables. They favor multiple heterogeneous interventions in a variety of settings, with the provision of skills training as well as information. Ongoing HIV prevention research indicates that social learning theories provide a more accurate paradigm of human behavior change for the complex behaviors related to HIV risk. Public health agencies must therefore continue to strengthen organizational and referral relationships with community-based organizations that can provide the specialized prevention interventions called for by social learning theory. This will require ongoing collaboration and technical assistance.


Behavior Change Social Learning Theory Public Health Agency Service Delivery System Heterogeneous Intervention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald O. Valdiserri
    • 1
  • Gary R. West
  • Melinda Moore
  • William W. Darrow
  • Alan R. Hinman
  1. 1.National Center for Prevention Services, Centers for Disease ControlAtlanta

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