Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Minton, Henry L.,


Education, Educational Psychology.




AIDS and HIV is a constantly growing concern in North American society. Adolescents and youth are considered to be groups in particular risk because of their unsafe sexual practices. Previous positivist research efforts attempted to understand adolescent risk as a function of their knowledge and a variety of attitudinal variables. While this research provided valuable findings, an understanding of adolescent unsafe behaviour remained fragmentary. The present study utilized a social constructionist approach to investigate this problem. Open-ended interviews were conducted with youth and adolescents in the Windsor area. Participants were encouraged to provide their constructions regarding a number of topics pertinent to safe sex. The themes of trust, responsibility, risk, pressure and states of consciousness emerged as primary in participants' accounts. Themes were interpreted in terms of how they reflected the social context, such as their role in maintaining societal power differentials and as reflecting current ideological thought in Western society. Recommendations were made as to how safe sex education might be made more effective for adolescents and youth.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1994 .F72. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 33-04, page: 1062. Adviser: Henry L. Minton. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1994.