The influence of acculturation on the perception of risk for AIDS among Mexican-Americans.
KeywordsAIDS (Disease) -- Arizona -- Public opinion
AIDS phobia -- Arizona
Hispanic Americans -- Arizona -- Attitudes
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe present study was based on a state-wide survey of ethnic minorities attitudes toward AIDS in the state of Arizona. The purpose of the study was to test a model for the relationship between level of acculturation and perception of risk for AIDS among Mexican Americans. The data was derived from a questionnaire on knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about AIDS completed by 600 Mexican Americans in rural and urban counties in the state of Arizona. Results indicate that education rather than acculturation is a stronger predictor of perception of risk. However, the strongest predictors of Fatalistic Views about AIDS and perceived Severity of AIDS were Negative Attitudes Toward Risk Groups and Knowledge about AIDS respectively. Respondents seemed to be antagonistic toward risk group who are perceived to transmit a deadly virus which is highly contagious via behaviors that are socially and morally objectionable. It is recommended that AIDS prevention campaigns emphasize accuracy of information about AIDS disease characteristics, in addition to accurate information about groups at risk for AIDS, in order to dispell misconceptions and fears that hinder the effective prevention of AIDS.