The proposed dissertation project will investigate the responses of young people to two very different approaches to HIV prevention in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Drawing largely from theories of social influence and theories of behavior change, this research project will seek to understand how young black South African's perception of their life chances affects their willingness to engage in risky behavior. This research project will also explore how their commitment to traditional values and social relations affects decisions about risky behavior. The ethnographic and qualitative methods of semi- structured interviews, semi-structured focus groups and participant observation will be employed. A successful outcome of this study will show decisively under what circumstances HIV/AIDS prevention education programs are able to move freely across ethnic borders and conversely which aspects of HIV/AIDS education programs are best tied to ethnicity-specific teachings. The significance to mental health is that this research will add to existing understandings of cognitive models of behavior change and the importance of identity in bringing about behavior change. ? ? ?