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Audience involvement with entertainment-education programs: explicating processes and outcomes

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Title: Audience involvement with entertainment-education programs: explicating processes and outcomes
Author(s): Quintero Johnson, Jessie M.
Director of Research: Tewksbury, David H.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Tewksbury, David H.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Busselle, Rick; Harrison, Kristen; Dixon, Travis L.; Sionean, Catlainn
Department / Program: Communication
Discipline: Communication
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Entertainment-education audience involvement overcoming persuasive resistance and health outcomes
Abstract: One area of health promotion research rich with potential for both theoretical and empirical investigation is the entertainment-education (EE) strategy. Though a growing body of evidence points to the effectiveness of the EE strategy, further investigation is needed to explore the underlying cognitive and affective processes that make EE an effective tool for health persuasion. The goal of this study was to explore the various dimensions of audience involvement with four award-winning EE programs about sexual and reproductive health topics made for primetime television audiences. Audience involvement with EE messages was assessed using Green and Brock’s transportation scale, Busselle and Bilandzic’s (2010) narrative engagement scale, and several measures of processes related to involvement with the EE program characters. These measures include perceived similarity, parasocial interaction, experiential identification, likability, and wishful identification. Findings suggest that audience involvement influences a number of cognitive and affective responses to EE messages including counterarguing, the perception that message-related health topics are personally relevant, state reactance, and program enjoyment. Findings also indicate that some of the dimensions of audience involvement are related to story-consistent changes in participants’ health beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. The results of this study suggest that audience involvement with EE programs is multifaceted and important to the outcome of exposure to this programming. The EE strategy holds great promise for future health promotion efforts aimed at improving the health and well-being of diverse audiences.
Issue Date: 2011-05-25
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Jessie M. Quintero Johnson
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-25
Date Deposited: 2011-05

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