The Role Of The Mass Media On The Attitude Of Teenagers On The Prevalence Of HIV/AIDS

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Role Of The Mass Media On The Attitude Of Teenagers On The Prevalence Of HIV/AIDS


This study is aimed to ascertain the role of the mass media on the attitude of teenagers on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Enugu state. The objective of the study is also to find out through survey method whether the teenagers are really getting sufficient information about HIV/AIDS so as to enable them inform their attitude and opinion about the disease. The study took account of the sex, marital status, occupational variables that were of relevance to the study. The researcher made use of the survey method with questionnaire, interview as the test instrument so as get all the responses needed in this study. This no doubt, helped in collecting information as to the way people generally perceive the disease.


Table of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance for the Study
  • 1.7 Definition of Terms
  • 1.8 Organization of Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Review of Related Literature

  • 2.1 Overview of Mass Media
  • 2.2 Characteristics of Mass Media
  • 2.3 Forms of Mass Media
  • 2.3.1 Broadcast
  • 2.3.2 Film
  • 2.3.3 Video Games
  • 2.3.4 Audio Recording and Reproduction
  • 2.3.5 Internet
  • 2.4 Challenges In Communicating Health Information To Teenagers
  • 2.5 Mass Media for HIV And Aids Communication
  • 2.6 Beyond The Social Networking: Economic and Cultural Impact on HIV Vulnerability
  • 2.7 Historical Aspect of Aids
  • 2.7.1 Mode of Transmission
  • 2.7.2 Incubation Period
  • 2.7.3 Scope of the Disease
  • 2.7.4 Global Situation
  • 2.7.5 The Nigeria Situation

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Sources of Data
  • 3.3.1 Primary Data Sources
  • 3.3.2 Secondary Data Source
  • 3.4 Population of the Study
  • 3.5 Sampling and Techniques
  • 3.6 Instrumentation
  • 3.7 Reliability
  • 3.8 Validity
  • 3.9 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.10 Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The media has been established to provide for their audience, information on varieties of issues. By emphasizing certain topic stressing particular interpretation and projects specific themes the media creates some distorted impression with their “definition” portraying reflection of the real society ie if sexual promiscuity is regularly portrayed as widely practices and accepted in this sense, the viewers may accept such definition as normative in the society because of media definition when somebody defines his/ her own over behavior in such a situation norms internalized from media sources may guide his conduct.

Simple by their presence, the mass media have altered the nature of social communication norm large audience have been created that expect the media to provide political commentary and other message. People depend on the media for various forms of gratification based upon contend. If denied such communication, they feel deprived.
Benelson, (2000).Even in relatively underdeveloped societies, population quickly develops. Societies habit once mass communication become available to them in the way they understand. People become aware of events outside their immediate experience.

People according to Walter lippman (2003) act upon basis of the pictures in our head rather than the reality of the world outside.

We have learned through research that the images and words the media carry, television, radio and newspapers determines within the limitation posed by intervening factors, open by people and their actions.

It is believed that in the imperfect world, there is no single antidote to human ills but public state is often a vital step finding that cure for many social ills. In this line therefore, it is believed that extensive impact of media and true information on the AIDS campaign will be read and perhaps touch on the sexual habit of people. When a disease is sexual transmitted, the publicity effort to eradicate it is fortified. AIDS is the worst disease to hit human race since the black plague of the 114th century. Already, 25 million unsuspected people have caught this disease and do not know it, and might not know it for years. (Van Impe: 1989: 1)

These sexual activities like kissing, caressing, hugging, sexual intercourse begin in adolescence for the majority of people. Studies in many countries reveal that unmarried girls and boys engage in sexual activities before the age of 15yrs (World Health Organisation, 1989). This has given public health officials and educators a long standing interest in adolescent‟s sexual behaviours and risk prevention – an interest, intensified by the spread of Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and STIs. In Nigeria these sexual behaviours are considerably influenced by culture like in many other countries of the world. This perhaps explains why few decades ago virginity of a girl, until she got married, was rewarded and various taboos were created round pre-marital sex. The trend is gradually changing and the incidence of adolescents and youths engaging in sexual intercourse is high and may constitute problem (Isiugo-Abanihe, 1993).These behaviours may be prevalent among Nigerian students especially those in secondary school and institution of higher learning (Isiugo-Abanihe,1993).This may be due to erosion of various customs and observances as well as factors associated with rapid urbanization and other factors such as family background, age, peer pressure, media influence, economic situation, gender, educational background (Akinleye &Onifade,1996). Unfortunately, understanding of adolescent sexuality is quite limited.

However, adolescents who are virgins (defined as never having had vaginal intercourse) may still be sexually active and may behave in ways that put them at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Slap, Huana, Daniyam, Zink and Succop, (2003) revealed that sexual thoughts, feelings and behaviours, present throughout life are often accentuated during adolescence. Often the outcome of these behaviours can have adverse consequences such as unplanned pregnancy and sexually acquired infections. It is therefore necessary to understand some of the features of puberty and the adolescents which increase the indulgence in these sexual behaviours. Slap, et al (2003) reported that puberty results when there is physical mature individual whose body habits and secondary sexual characteristics usually testify unmistakably, to maleness or femaleness, who is able to reproduce. The sequence of pubertal events is remarkably similar for most individuals despite broad variation in the timing and duration of the process. The onset of puberty is believed to be due to decreasing sensitivity of the hypothalamic – pituitary – gonadal axis to feedback inhibition by gonadal steroids, triggered by genetic potential with environmental factors. All these processes bring about growth of sexual hairs, skeletal maturation and development of reproductive organs in adolescents.

1.2 Statement of Problem

The role of mass media in a society cannot be over emphasized. It gives beyond the ordinary art and science of new gathering and dissemination to shaping opinions and attitude of people accurate analysis and interpretation of news event through their information education entertaining and socializing function the mass media affect people attitude and behavior (Graham mitten 1983 32). The mass media set agenda for public discussion by chronicling news event within the society. The mass media, no doubt, has changed or altered our culture. New products, advertised to millions via television , magazines, radio and newspapers, can achieve wife spread adoption almost overnight. The rapid spread of other cultural forms, such as speech mannerism, fades ,of all kinds, and other innovative preteens, can be trigged by the media.

Different mass media are effective at different points in different ways. The mass mess only crate awareness while the face to face communication bring about change. Both are complementary. But eagle and others observed that when the audience is large, it usually necessary to accept the inefficiencies of mass communication (Eagle, 1970:29).
This implies that the mass media have shortcoming which to not produce their effectiveness no matter how minimal at bringing about social change. Lazars field and Katz radio, television and print to opinion leaders and from them to the less active sections of the population, it therefore mass that those who cannot be reached by the three media could benefit from interpersonal flow of information or the innovation (field and katz 1955).
Macgurrie (1969), observed that the measured impact of the mass media as regard persuasiveness seems quite slight. A tremendous among of applied research has carried out to test the effectiveness of the news media messages. The out come which he said been guide embarrassing for ,proponents of mass media.

In view of thus perceived short coming, it therefore, becomes very necessary to take a hoard work at the role of the mass media campaign against AIDS vis – a Vis their impact among the teenagers in Enugu state. However, research is a systematic search of knowledge the media of wich a primary to find solution to existing problem determines the direction of the study. Therefore the problem this work aims at solving are

  1. To determine the major sources of information regarding to AIDS.
  2. To impact exposure to HIV/AIDS mass media campaign on the sexual behavior of the people in Enugu metropolis.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The primary aim of this study is to examine the extent to which mass media campaign against AIDS has affected and influenced attitude and behavioral change among teenagers. Influence will be regarded as the ability of the campaign against Aids message carried by the mass media to induce the teenagers to change their behaviours to sexual to promiscuity and help them also know more about AIDS and suggested preventive measures.

  1. To assess the extent of the use of mass media by teenagers in Enugu state University.
  2. To examine the link between social networking, teenagers and HIV-vulnerabilities.
  3. To establish how the mass media impacts on Nigeria’s efforts in getting to zero new-HIV infection
  4. To explore how social networking can be effectively used to communicate health effectively to teenagers.
  5. To examine other factors contributing to HIV vulnerability of teenagers in Nigeria

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the extent of the use of social media by teenagers in Enugu state University?
  2. What is the link between social networking, teenagers and HIV-vulnerabilities?
  3. How does social media impact on Nigeria‘s efforts in getting to zero new-HIV infection?
  4. How can social media be effectively used to communicate health effectively to teenagers?
  5. What are the other factors contributing to HIV vulnerability of teenagers in Nigeria?

1.5 Hypothesis

HO1: There is no significant influence of mass media on the attitude of teenagers on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS

1.6 Significance for the Study

It is envisaged that the outcome of the study will help to alert teenage population on the dangers inherent in AIDS and equally contribute to existing literature in the area of mass media impact.

Also the study will help health ministry to determine which of the mass media to employ in disseminating AIDS information.

Above all, it is hoped that the study will further equip mass media practitioners, communication n experts and researchers to come up with a concrete and more futuristic approach to covering all manner of campaign without much to in Nigeria.

1.7 Definition of Terms


A young person who is growing into through emotional and physical transformation into adulthood


A collective noun for agencies of mass communication

Mass Media:

Refers to a diverse array of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. The technologies through which this communication takes place include a variety of outlets. Broadcast media transmit information electronically via media such as films, radio, recorded music, or television.


This refers to grownups within the ages of 13-19


One who is open to risky sexual exploitations and attacks


Is a psychological construct, a mental and emotional entity that inheres in, or characterizes a person. They are complex and are an acquired state through experiences.


HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV), or through sharing injection drug equipment.


AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is the late stage of HIV infection that occurs when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus.


Prevalence is the proportion of a particular population found to be affected by a medical condition at a specific time.

1.8 Organization of Study

The study comprises of 5 chapters. In chapter one, the concepts are introduced and the problem of the study is established with the research objectives and questions. Chapter two presents the literature review while chapter three presents the research methodology. The fourth chapter presents the results and discussion, and the last chapter presents the conclusion and recommendation.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion

5.1 Summary

Thus far we have explored in this study the associated risk behaviour in mass media that leaves teenagers at increased risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). Mass media as a platform for interaction leaves teenagers with several alternatives to express their innate emotional desires beyond the confines of their physical location. If teenagers are sexually educated and well-informed on risk behaviour and a wide range of protective measures; through the media platforms that have become the dominant culture of the twenty-first century youths, they are better informed to make decisions. Thus, there is nothing wrong with mass media, the way they are being utilized by teenagers mostly for lewd purposes is what makes it a high risk. If this trend we have on ground continues unabated, it would lead to an increase in new dimension of HIV infections among teenagers and the general population in Nigeria.

This research has looked at mass media as a vital tool for communication among teenagers. It is an important platform for effective STI/HIV information-education however, this is lacking in most HIV intervention programs for teenagers and as a result, most HIV/AIDS campaigns intended for teenagers fail to achieve their desired goals. Gana (2012) affirms that social networking exudes a promising potential for people to participate and take control of their situations and cause change through information sharing and deliberation. Participation in this sense is crystallized not in terms of numbers but interms of the capacity of the platform to enable individuals express themselves freely by sharing information with one another.

This research work provided insight on the impact of mass media campaign against AIDS among teenagers through the findings obtained from the field. The findings imply that mass media forms is becoming part of teenagers‘ everyday life and if not properly utilized could lead to risky behaviours including HIV. This study suggests also that further researches should explore the use of social networking for HIV interventions with teenagers.

5.2 Conclusion

From the findings of this study, it is imperative to segment adolescents’ audience based on adolescents’ needs, aspirations and concerns since the “one-size-fits-all” approach does not work in all cases. For a positive behavioural outcome to be achieved, it is also important to put in place measures which will ensure that multiple messages are used. Also, it is imperative to segment adolescents’ audience based on adolescents’ needs, aspirations and concerns since the “one-size-fit-all” approach does not work in all cases. Designers of HIV/AIDS campaign messages targeting adolescents should segment their target audience bearing in mind the heterogeneity which exists among a seemingly homogeneous population. Furthermore, attempts should be made to create conducive environments to enable young people to sustain positive behaviour they adopt in order not to “slip” or “relapse”. There is the need for further research to understand what explains the differences in attitudes towards HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination especially by adolescents of different ethnic backgrounds.

5.3 Recommendations

In view of the findings of the study stated above, we therefore offer the following recommendations:

  1. NGOs and development agencies as well as civil society organization should as a matter of urgency critically pay attention to Social Network Sites in an attempt at exploring its potential for effective health communication and mobilization.
  2. Donor agencies should fund projects/programmes that aim at empowering people to be Internet savvy.
  3. Universities and colleges should also encourage student‘s (especially undergraduate students) positive usage of Social Network Sites by creating study groups online on particular courses for students to engage in scholarly discourse since majority of users on these platforms are youths.
  4. Further research into the potentials of the usage of Social Network Sites should be encouraged as this will further help determine the extent of its capabilities to bring about development through effective communication.
  5. HIV/AIDS campaigns should be repackaged and taken to the social media to educate teenagers and engage their attention

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