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This paper represents the effectiveness of the intervention of a special program made to compare the attitude and the intended risky behaviors between two groups of female students in the high school settings. One group of students attended a special program to improve their intended behavior and attitude toward the risky ones while the other group had not. The aim of this study is to test two hypotheses: 1- there is no statistically significant difference in the intent to engage in risky behaviors between the students who do and do not participate in a special program.  2-  there is no statistically significant difference in attitude toward risky behaviors between students who do and do not participate in a special program.

Design

Cohorts of 20 female students were randomly divided  into the experimental and control groups. Both groups had a survey at two points of time, at the beginning and the end of the fall semester. The experimental group was introduced to a special program, prepared to enhance their attitude toward risky behaviors and behavioral intents regarding selected risky behaviors.

A survey was used to collect the data. There were a pre-test survey and a post-test survey to measure the students’ intended risky behavior and attitude toward the risky behaviors. Both surveys were identical with the exception of the demographic data, which were collected at the beginning of the semester. These surveys had three sections. The first section had five items to compile information about the respondents’ behavioral intent in selected risky behaviors over the next three months (e.g., use of seat belts, contraception, and not smoking). The answers for this section were graded on the scale from four to one, where four indicated very likely and one indicated very unlikely possibilities respectively.

The second section of the survey had four items to establish the respondents’ attitudes regarding health risk-taking behaviors (e.g., using seatbelts prevents personal injury, contraception prevents pregnancy, and smoking is not cool). In the attitude section, the answers were graded on the scale from five to one, where five indicated strong agreement and one indicated strong disagreement correspondingly.

The last section of the survey had two items related to the respondents’ practice of risky behaviors in the past three months (e.g., number of times smoking and frequency of bicycle riding). The coding 0-998 was used to code the answer for number of times smoked in the past three months, while the answers in the frequency of bicycle riding were coded from three to one , where three indicated often and one indicated never.

Description of Sample

The mean age for the experimental group was 17.23 and 16.97 for the control group with no significant difference between the two groups (P>0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control group means' annual family income (P>0.05).

A statistically significant difference existed between the two groups' mean years of physically activity (P<0.05). The participants of the experimental group were more physically active than the ones from the control group, they had eight years compared to four years in the control group.

There was a statistically significancant difference in the mean number of minutes per week spent in exercising between the two groups (P<0.05). The experimental group was more willing in exercising (66 minutes per week) than the control group (43minutes per week).

There was significant difference in the mean numbers of years of envolvement in organized sports between the experimental and the control groups (P<0.05), which means the experimental group was more likely to engage in organized sports than the control one, 7.44 years for experimental group compared to 4.23 for control group.  A significant difference occurs between the experimental group and the control group in wearing a bike helmet (P<0.05). 90% were wearing a bike helmet in the control group compared to 80% in the experimental group.

Analytic Technique

Duringthe survey, the additive scores were made in term of the intent section and the attitude section. So far as the data were coded in the same way in the intent section and in the attitude section, the additive indexes were created and used. The additive indexes for the intent and the attitude sections were made by summing the response values for each variable. 

The additive intent scores ranged from 5 to 20, and the additive attitude score ranged from 4 to 20. In both of intent and attitude additive indexes, the low score means the respondent was less prone  to the risky behavior and the high score means the respondent was more prone to the risky behavioral.

As both items in the third section of the survey were coded not in different ways, one as a quantity value and the other one as an ordinal value, the additive scores were not made. The original value was used.

The Student’s t-testing technique was used to analyze the data. The independent Student’s t-test was done to determine whether a statistically significant difference exists between the experimental group and the control group in each of the variables. The independent Student's t-test was appropriate because there was no relation between the experimental group and the control group. To establish the statistically significant difference in each group for the pre-test and the post-test results, the dependent Student’s t-test was used. The dependent Student's t-test was suitable because the statistically significant difference was tested in individual groups in two different conditions and there was connection between the outcomes from the pre-test and the post-test, the intervention could affect the results.

The additive score for the first and second section were used to analyze the data. The additive score in the experimental group was compared with the additive score in the control group by the independent Student’s t-test, and  the additive score in the pre-test was compared with the additive score in the post-test for each group by the dependent Student's t-test. In the last section of the survey, the original value was used for the comparison. Statistically significant difference was set at P<0.05, which means there is a winner group and a looser group in term of variables. 

Descriptive Findings

According to table 2, the respondents in the experimental group were more inclined to the behavioral intents and attitude toward risky behaviors in the post-test, while the respondents in the control group were more inclined to the behavioral intents and attitude toward risky behavior in the pre-test.  The median of frequency of riding the bicycle was bigger in the post-test than in the pre-test for the experimental group. The respondents were more likely to decrease the number of times smoked in the post-test in the experimental group. The respondents in the control group had the same median in the number of times smoked in the pre-test and the post-test(see table 2). The most prone to the behavioral intents were the most frequently in the post-test for the experimental group. Also, there were more respondents in the experimental group most favorable in riding the bicycle in the post-test than in the pre-test. As it is shown in table 2,  the maximum for the intended behavior and the attitude toward risky behaviors in the pre-test were more than the maximum in the post-test for control group, which means more respondents were less favorable in the post-test. Comparing the maximum in the control group to the experimental group, the respondents were more prone to the behavioral intents and attitude toward risky behavior in the post-test than in the pre-test.

Results

As it can be seen in table 3, there was a significant difference between the experimental group and the control group in the pre-test for the intended risky behaviors (P<0.05). The risky behavioral intents in the control groups were more likely than in the experimental group. No statistically significant difference existed between the experimental and the control groups in the pre-test in terms of the attitude toward risky behaviors, number of times smoked in the past three months, and frequency of bicycle riding in the past three months (P>0.05).

A statistically significant difference occurs in the behavioral intents between the experimental and control group in the post-test (P<0.05). The experimental group was more likely to improve the intended risky behaviors after attending the program than the control group. There was a statistically significant difference between the experimental and the control groups in the attitude toward risky behaviors(P<0.05). The respondents in the experimental group were stronger in agreement than the control group to their attitude toward risky behaviors after attending the program. A statistically significant difference did not exist between the two groups in numbers of times smoked in the post-test (P>0.05). In the post-test of frequency of riding a bicycle, a significant difference occured between the control and the experimental groups. The experimental group members were more likely to ride a bike after they participated in the special classes than the control group.

As shown in table 4, a statistically significant difference exists in the experimental group between the pre-test and the post-test in the risky behavioral intents (P<0.05). After admission to the program, the respondents were more likely in the risky behavioral intent than before admission to the program. There was a statistically significant difference between the pre-test and the post-test in terms of the attitude toward risky behaviors in the experimental group (P<0.05). The attitude toward risky behaviors was less likely in the pre-test than in the post-test for the experimental group. No statistically significant difference occurred  in number of times smoked between the pre-test and the post-test for the experimental group. A statistically significant difference (P<0.05) exists in the frequency of  riding a bicycle between both tests in the experimental group. In the post-test, the respondents were more likely to have ridden a bicycle in the last three month than in the pre-test.  

For the control group, there was no statistically significant difference between the pre-test and the post-test in terms of intended risky behaviors and number of times smoked (P>0.05). In terms of attitude toward risk behaviors and frequency of riding a bicycle, a statistically significant difference occurs between the pre-test and the post-test during the control (P<0.05). The respondents in the post-test were stronger in agreement in their attitude toward risky behaviors than in the pre-test. Also, the frequency of riding a bike occurred more often in the post-test than in the pre-test for the control group.

Conclusion

Based on the analysis, the first hypothesis was rejected. There was a statistically significant difference in the intended behaviors between the experimental and the control groups(P<0.05). The experimental group did better in their risky behavioral intents after attending the program, they were more likely to develop their risky behaviors(see table 3). In the control group, the behavioral intents did not changed in the pre-test and the post-test, because they did not take place in the program.

Rejection of the the second hypothesis. A significant difference exists in the attitude toward risky behaviors between the experimental and the control groups(P<0.05). The experimental group was  stronger in agreement about their attitude toward risky behaviors after participance in the program(see table 3). The control group had a statistically significant difference in the attitude toward risky behaviors between the pre-test and the post-test (P<0.05), the mean in the pre-test was higher than the mean in the post-test(see table 4).

After reviewing the findings and the sample descriptors, biases can be noticed in both of them. There was a significant difference between the experimental and the control groups in terms of mean years of physical activity, number of minutes spent on exercising, number of years, spent  in organized sports, and wearing a bike helmet in the sample descriptors with the advance for the experimental group. In other words, the experimental group was more willing than the control group in the physical activities, exercising, sports, and wearing a helmet in the pre-test, which made the bias. As it is shown in table 3, there was a significant difference in intent behavior means between the experimental and the control group in the pre-test, which means the experimental group was more prone to the behavioral intents than the control group in the pre-test before the program began.

The program helped the respondents in the experimental group to improve their risky behaviors intents and their attitude toward risky behaviors. The outcomes would be better if the sample did not contain a bias, i.e. the program could be offered in all the school in the district, if there were no biases in the sample.

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