Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services--Health Services

Committee Director

Clare Houseman

Committee Director

John L. Echternach

Committee Member

Lindsay Rettie

Committee Member

Richardean Benjamin-Coleman

Committee Member

John M. De Triquet

Committee Member

Stacey B. Plichta


The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of two educational intervention methods on participant's knowledge, health beliefs and prevention behavior as they relate to childhood lead poisoning. The two educational methods being used in the study are personal instruction by the investigator and a 12-minute video developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics on childhood lead poisoning. Information contained in both educational tools is identical. In particular, this study seeks to determine if one educational intervention was more effective than the other. The final purpose of the study is to test the Health Belief Model by examining the effects of knowledge and health beliefs on prevention at posttest in both groups. The study employs an adapted version of Russell's (1991) Childhood Injury Prevention Instrument which was developed using constructs of the Health Belief Model.

The sample of 50 women was 94% African American, 4% Caucasian and 2% other race individuals. The majority of the sample (64%) report a total family income of under $10,000 per year. Approximately 82\% of the sample are unmarried and 38\% report having at least a high school education, Most of the subjects were between 19--24 years of age (34\%). All of the participants utilize Women and Infant Children (WIC) clinics within the local health department.

Overall, the study finds a statistically significant difference in pre and post prevention behavior p <.05 within each intervention group. An increase in posttest knowledge is also shown to be statistically significant at p <.05 within each group. Only two subscales of the Health Belief Model are shown to be statistically significant at p <.05 at posttest: perceived seriousness and perceived barriers. No differences are seen between the two types of instruction received on prevention behavior, knowledge or health beliefs. Finally, knowledge and health beliefs were not found to be predictors of compliance at posttest.