Identifier

etd-04282010-122823

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

ABSTRACT

For more than 30 years, college administrators and health communicators have used binge drinking prevention campaigns on university campuses to deter students from this dangerous and life-threatening habit.

Despite the prevalence of such campaigns (Wechsler, Seibring, Liu & Ahl, 2004), binge drinking remains the top public health threat for this population (Wechsler, Dowdall, Davenport, & Castillo, 1995).

In this study, the researcher conducted an experiment using fear appeals to see if these messages were more effective than social norms messages, which are often used in college binge drinking prevention campaigns (Real & Rimal, 2007), at prompting higher message credibility and intentions to change behavior for a sample of college students.

Overall, students in this experiment who viewed messages containing fear, either alone or combined with social norms, reported higher message credibility scores, and students who received a message using only fear reported higher intentions to change behavior than students who received a message with only social norms.

This study offers experimental evidence that fear appeals could be an effective health communication strategy for binge drinking prevention campaigns aimed at college students.

Date

2010

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Scholl, Rosanne

Share

COinS