AIDS-related mistrust among adolescent runaways

Heather Cecil, Gregory D. Zimet, Elisa J. Sobo, Teena Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined AIDS-related mistrust among 97 runaway adolescents who were 12 to 18 years of age. AIDS-related mistrust was operationalized as a belief that information about AIDS is being withheld by the government. Approximately half of the sample was female; 61% were African-American and 37% White. A self-report questionnaire measured demographics, sexual behavior, knowledge and beliefs about AIDS, and substance use. Forty-two percent indicated that they believe that information about AIDS is being withheld. Stepwise logistic regression analysis indicated that African- American adolescents, females, those worried about contracting AIDS, those more knowledgeable about HIV transmission, and those with higher levels of alcohol consumption were more likely to believe that information is being withheld. The findings suggest that mistrust is not a function of lack of knowledge. This issue needs to be addressed prior to the implementation of intervention programs targeted at adolescents who have run away from home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-20
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education for Adolescents and Children
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998


  • Adolescence
  • AIDS
  • Mistrust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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