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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    Development of a brief scale to measure AIDS-related stigma in South Africa.

    Kalichman SC; Simbayi LC; Jooste S; Toefy Y; Cain D

    AIDS and Behavior. 2005 Jun; 9(2):135-143.

    Although there has been progress in AIDS stigma research, there are no multi-item AIDS stigma scales that have been shown reliable and valid in Africa. The current research reports the development of the nine-item AIDS-Related Stigma Scale. Research conducted in five South African communities (N = 2306) found the scale internally consistent, a = 0.75 and time stable over 3 months, r = 0.67. The scale was also reliable in three different languages (English, Xhosa, and Afrikaans). Correlations showed that the AIDS-Related Stigma Scale was moderately inversely correlated with years of education and AIDS knowledge. In addition, individuals who stated that HIV positive persons should conceal their HIV status had higher AIDS-Related Stigma Scale scores. Also supporting the scale’s construct validity, individuals who refused to report whether they had been tested for HIV scored higher on the AIDS-Related Stigma Scale. (author's)
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  2. 2

    A study of contraceptive drop-outs in Lesotho: using focus groups to determine causes of discontinuation.

    Matlomelo S; Maliehe T; Sakoane M; Lewis G

    [Unpublished] [1989]. [3], 36, [4] p.

    Focus groups of married women aged 25-40 from Lesotho who has used contraception for at least 3 months, but discontinued within the last 12 months, were conducted in 1989 to learn reasons for discontinuation. Groups had 3, 5, 6, and 9 participants, and other groups of staff were also held. In warm-up discussion topics it was learned that Basotho families desired families of 2-6 children; that men wanted the maximum number of children and believed that family planning promoted promiscuity in wives; that most people believed in spacing births and practiced traditional methods to do so, primarily breastfeeding and abstinence. Women liked injection because they can be used without husband's knowledge, and do not require daily medication or constant resupply. Misinformation was common on all methods, and lists of examples are included for each method. Some of the many reasons for discontinuing were real or impugned side effects. Many women complained of vaginal wetness (which was also a reason for accepting contraception). Many also accepted and others stopped to keep husbands at home. High cost of pills and exams was a reason cited. Program-related reasons were long lines at clinics and unavailability and brand-switching by the clinics. Staff focus groups identified several characteristics among drop-outs: husbands disapproved of contraception; negative rumors used to pressure women; inadequate counseling on side effects; pressures from in-laws and husbands to have more children. Screening out of potential drop-outs was not considered a viable policy. Staff groups suggested that the government emphasize IEC campaigns for men, the public and private doctors, and maintain supplies of the same brands of contraceptives at its clinics.
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  3. 3
    Peer Reviewed

    Media coverage and public opinion on scientific controversies.

    Mazur A

    JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION. 1981 Spring; 31(2):106-15.

    The nature of science reporting for the U.S. mass media is detailed as an introduction to a brief analysis of the effect of media coverage on public opposition to science issues. There are a small number of scientist "stars" often seen on television, and a similar small number of influential reporters of science, about 50, who dominate the print media. There is a localized, slender communication link between the science community and the journalist community, with friendly exchange of information and favors. This local bias is exemplified by the public relations received on publication of the book "Sociobiology, A Science of Altruism," described as a manufactured "science event" turned into a national controversy via this narrow communications channel. It is possible to demonstrate fluctuations in media coverage, such as by numbers of articles indexed in the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, and Television News: Index and Abstracts. When publicity of issues is plotted vs. public opinion polls, on issues such as fluoridation and nuclear power plants, an increase in public hostility can be seen with each rise in publicity. Media exposure to scientific issues seems to encourage public opposition and suspicion, suggesting that the public is either discriminatory, or perhaps anxious in a counter-productive direction.
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  4. 4

    The pregnant adolescent: problems of premature parenthood.

    Bolton FG Jr

    Beverly Hills, California, Sage Publications, 1980. 246 p. (Sage Library of Social Research Vol. 100)

    This book's objective is to describe the circumstances surrounding adolescent pregnancy, demonstrate the need for social support, and describe how these supports might be offered. It contains 2 basic thrusts. The early chapters describe the adolescent pregnancy problem and the parallels between the development of the adolescent pregnancy and the potential child maltreater. What follows from this description is the author's sense of methods which will help to reduce the risks generated by participation in either, or both, of these environments. The information presented in this volume suggests that the time for joint study of child maltreatment and adolescent pregnancy has arrived. The demand for correlational study of these 2 social situations is viable for 4 interrelated reasons: both child maltreatment and adolescent pregnancy are social phenomena which demonstrate a dramatic increase in reported incidence in the past 25 years; both child maltreaters and adolescents who have experienced pregnancy appear to share multiple demographic or situational variables, i.e., minority overrepresentation, low income, low education, and high unemployment; the development of the maltreating event and the adolescent pregnancy reveal an unusual similarity, and the intergenerational aspects of both problems could well be strongly related to the snowball effect that these problems have on each other; and if the problems of child maltreatment and adolescent pregnancy are found to be symbiotic in their support of each other, rather than independent responses to a uniform social context, the direction of prevention efforts in these 2 areas could produce beneficial reductions in the rates of both problems. The best hope for the provision of prevention services in adolescent pregnancy rests within an alteration in public fears and misconceptions related to welfare dependency, contraceptive use, sexual education and information, and possibly even a general view of the adolescent in society. There is no question that contraceptive programming for the adolescent can serve as a vital preventive measure. The cornerstone of this service returns the perspective to education. Preventive services must include education for contraception, education for appropriate decision making, and education for survival of a parent and child. The community-based multidisciplinary system for the adolescent pregnancy or parent has been demonstrated to be the most effective model for programming today. It is also the most difficult program to find or or develop. Services to adolescents must begin as soon as community standards will permit them to be initiated to prevent the occurrence of the problem. Only when a collage of services in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation realms is available for the individual adolescent can it be said that a meaningful program exists.
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  5. 5
    Peer Reviewed

    Uneasy freedom: women's experiences of contraception.

    Benn M; Richardson R

    Women's Studies International Forum. 1984; 7(4):219-225.

    Contraception is not the trouble-free panacea it is often assumed to be, according to authors of this article. Quoting extensively from letters recieved from women answering a press appeal for information, the authors describe the mental and physical side effects of contraception. 2 of the single most important causes of anger against medical personnel is due to the dismissal of women's testimony concerning these side effects. Use of oral contraceptives was associated by many of the respondants with weight gain, loss of libido, thrush, and unpredictability of mood, particularly depression. IUD insertion was associated with severe pain and heavier blood loss at menstruation. Some women suffered recurrent infections after IUD insertion. In some cases, women doctors were found to be as unsympathetic as were men. The unwillingness of many men to share responsibility for contraception was also a cause of great concern. The authors conclude that while freedom from the constant threat of unwanted pregnancy has been a positive outcome, the degree of personal oppression experienced by women using available contraceptive methods has been ignored or minimized. Feminist writers have described the political nature of issues of contraception. The adverse experiences of women using contraception have, in some instances, resulted in an added awareness of their subordinate position in society, and the inadequate respect accorded them by the medical profession. Consequently, some model patients have become feminists and advocates for patients' rights.
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