First Advisor

Laurie Skokan

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






College students -- Attitudes, Health attitudes -- Testing, HIV infections -- Diagnosis, Prediction (Psychology)



Physical Description

1 online resource ( iv, 92 p.)


Intentions to prevent HIV infections are an essential part of HIV prevention. Social science researchers and HIV educators have investigated the roles of intentions to prevent HIV infections mainly in the context of safer sex behaviors. Surprisingly, however, HIV testing intentions have not been extensively studied in light of various forms of HIV tests that are likely soon to be approved for widespread use . The present study evaluated the utility of Ajzen and Fishbein' s (1980) Theory of Reasoned Action in predicting college students' intentions to take an HIV test. Attitudes toward HIV testing and their perceptions of social pressure toward HIV tests were investigated as predictors of testing intentions. In addition, college students' preferences for HIV testing procedures were surveyed in order to investigate whether the characteristics of the new HIV tests were seen as favorable. Responses from 190 undergraduate and graduate students at Portland State University (Portland, Oregon) were analyzed by multiple linear regression analysis. Results strongly supported the impact of the subjective norm toward HIV testing as a determinant of testing intentions. On the other hand, testing attitudes failed to predict testing intentions unlike past studies on HIV preventive behavioral intentions. Regarding the procedural preferences, the majority of respondents preferred the procedures of conventional HIV tests except that most respondents preferred not to have post-test counseling after an HIV-negative result; in addition, respondents were equally divided in their preference for blood or saliva fluid sampling. Implications of these findings are discussed for possible interventions.


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