Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

College Students Who Feel 'Invincible' Unlikely To Accept STD Vaccines

Date:
July 31, 2009
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
In a new study, researchers have found that students who feel invulnerable, or invincible, to physical harm are unlikely to get an HIV vaccine. Alternately, students who feel invulnerable to psychological harm are more likely to get the vaccine.

Clinical trials are under way for an immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the cause of AIDS. Programs of population-wide vaccinations resulted in the eradication of smallpox; elimination of polio in the Americas; and control of measles, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria and other infectious diseases in the US and other parts of the world.
Credit: Jim Gathany, CDC

Vaccines to protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and herpes, are being developed and may soon be available to college students. However, limited research has been conducted to determine if students will accept the vaccines once they are available. In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher has found that students who feel invulnerable, or invincible, to physical harm are unlikely to get an HIV vaccine.

Alternately, students who feel invulnerable to psychological harm are more likely to get the vaccine.

"Previous researchers have used invulnerability measures to predict health-endangering behaviors in students, but this study is unique in that it considers the role of invulnerability in students' health-protective or preventative behaviors," said Russell Ravert, assistant professor in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences.

In the study, Ravert measured two invulnerability factors: danger and psychological. Students with increased danger invulnerability, those who viewed themselves as physically invincible, were more likely to decline the vaccine. One explanation is that strong feelings of danger invulnerability may be associated with decreased threat, which can diminish protective behaviors, Ravert said.

Students who felt psychological invulnerability, those who didn't care what others thought, were more likely to accept a vaccine. Students' psychological invulnerability may protect against the possible stigma associated with getting vaccinated for HIV, or other sexually transmitted diseases, Ravert said.

"It is important to determine what factors are associated with vaccine acceptance because not all students will be willing to take vaccines," Ravert said. "Efforts to promote vaccines should consider that students who aren't worried about being harmed are less likely to get the vaccine, even when it's warranted by their sexual behavior."

In the study, the strongest predictor of vaccine acceptance was students' perceived susceptibility to contracting HIV, followed by their number of sexual partners. Students' decisions also were influenced by the cost of the vaccine.

In future studies, Ravert will examine college students' invulnerability beliefs as they relate to risk-taking behaviors and other preventative health behaviors, as well as how invulnerability beliefs vary across age groups.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. College Student Invulnerability Beliefs and HIV Vaccine Acceptability. American Journal of Health Behavior, July/August 2009

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "College Students Who Feel 'Invincible' Unlikely To Accept STD Vaccines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090729181504.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2009, July 31). College Students Who Feel 'Invincible' Unlikely To Accept STD Vaccines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090729181504.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "College Students Who Feel 'Invincible' Unlikely To Accept STD Vaccines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090729181504.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins