Towards an understanding of risk behavior: an AIDS risk reduction model (ARRM)

Health Educ Q. 1990 Spring;17(1):53-72. doi: 10.1177/109019819001700107.


This report presents a three-stage model (ARRM) that characterize people's efforts to change sexual behaviors related to HIV transmission. ARRM focuses on social and psychological factors hypothesized to influence (1) labeling of high risk behaviors as problematic, (2) making a commitment to changing high risk behaviors, and (3) seeking and enacting solutions directed at reducing high risk activities. The proposed model integrates important concepts from prior behavioral medicine and human sexuality studies, specifies their differential import to achieving the goals associated with each stage of the model, and denotes factors hypothesized to influence people's motivation to continue the change process over time. Current findings are discussed within this three-stage model and directions for further research are suggested. Recent findings from our ongoing studies of gays and heterosexuals in San Francisco are presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Motivation
  • Risk Factors
  • San Francisco
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Social Values