YOUNG CHILDREN'S AWARENESS, KNOWLEDGE, AND BELIEFS ABOUT AIDS: OBSERVATIONS FROM A PRETEST.

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    • Abstract:
      The article focuses on a research conducted in order to find out children's awareness, knowledge and beliefs about AIDS in the United States. Several studies of disease and health have revealed that children's conceptions of illness are age-graded. It is believed that targeting young children for special attention during adolescence can be helpful in the reduction of risk taking and discriminatory behaviors and avoidance of more serious problems in the future. The data from this research illuminates the perception of children that AIDS can be transmitted by inanimate objects and animals. Prior research on AIDS awareness, knowledge and beliefs among children have been few and none of these has made any effort to examine race and gender differentials. The research revealed that with over one-third of the first graders and nearly one-half of the fifth graders indicating that they or someone they know will get AIDS, the potential for anxiety over AIDS seems high. This suggests that children may be obtaining much of their AIDS information from sources targeted to older populations (e.g., public service announcements on radio and television, posters and billboards).