Adolescents and young adults have engaged in sexual behaviors that increase the risk of becoming infected with HIV. Thus, this descriptive correlational study examined the relationship of knowledge of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), misconceptions about AIDS, knowledge of safer sex practices, perceived susceptibility, and future time perspective to the practice of safer sex behaviors in single, sexually active college freshmen. The theoretical framework was the Health Belief Model. The research question was what is the relationship between college freshmen who practice safer sex behaviors and their knowledge of AIDS, misconceptions about AIDS, knowledge of safer sex practices, perceived susceptibility, and future time perspective? The participants (N = 51) were a convenience sample of college freshmen who attended one of two institutions of higher learning in Northeast Mississippi. The Modified AIDS Information Survey, the Future Time Perspective Inventory, the Knowledge of Safer Sex Practices Questionnaire, the Safe Sex Behavior Questionnaire, and a demographic data sheet were used for data collection. Only one significant positive correlation emerged between use of safer sex behaviors and future time perspective (p = < .01). Additional analysis demonstrated a positive correlation between women and practice of safer sex behavior (p = .04). The researcher concluded that there is a direct correlation between future time perspective and safer sex behavior. College freshmen who are sexually active have a high perception of their risk for the HIV infection. However, perception of risk does not motivate college freshmen to practice safer sex behavior. Additionally, knowledge had little effect on reducing risk behavior. The advanced practice nurse needs to counsel college freshmen in the perception of their future as predictable and controllable to help prevent transmission of HIV. Factors that influence future time perspective in older adolescents should be investigated as well as differences in males and females regarding factors that influence health-promoting behavior, particularly safer sex behavior.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Dr. Melinda Rush

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Patricia Curtis

Third Advisor

Donna Gullette

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons