Article

The Polarizing Effect of News Media Messages About the Social Determinants of Health

University of Pennsylvania, 3641 Locust Walk, Room 302, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6218, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.23). 12/2009; 99(12):2160-7. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.161414
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Framing health problems in terms of the social determinants of health aims to shift policy attention to nonmedical strategies to improve population health, yet little is known about how the public responds to these messages. We conducted an experiment to test the effect of a news article describing the social determinants of type 2 diabetes on the public's support for diabetes prevention strategies. We found that exposure to the social determinants message led to a divergence between Republicans' and Democrats' opinions, relative to their opinions after viewing an article with no message about the causes of diabetes. These results signify that increasing public awareness of the social determinants of health may not uniformly increase public support for policy action.

0 Followers
 · 
159 Views
  • The European Journal of Public Health 02/2015; 25(1):1-2. DOI:10.1093/eurpub/cku214 · 2.46 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epigenetics is an emerging field of research related to, but in many ways distinct from, genetics. The science of epigenetics introduces causal pathways which complicate a number of longstanding politically relevant concepts such as the conventional distinctions drawn between conservatives and liberals. These political complications of epigenetics are discussed in this paper in the context of the prevailing narratives of obesity which reflect these ideological oppositions. For example, epigenetics provides elements which at once fit both the conservative narrative of personal responsibility for obesity and the more liberal narrative of the overriding influence of the environment. How these novel narrative possibilities from epigenetics will be used in policy discussions is therefore an open question which this paper attempts to answer. First, the significant narrative elements of the prevailing attributions—or narratives—of responsibility for obesity are identified and established via a content analysis of articles on obesity from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The emerging narrative of epigenetics is also identified and compared against the liberal and conservative narratives. This comparison produces a number of interesting results. For one, while the narrative of epigenetics shares elements in common with both the liberal and conservative narratives, it is also much more similar to the conservative narrative of obesity than to the liberal narrative. These similarities between the conservative and the epigenetic narratives result from their shared emphasis on the genetic component of obesity, and the interaction of genes with the environment in particular. As the science of epigenetics is basically the explanation of the interactions between our genes and our environments this coincidence does makes conceptual sense, but the importance of genes in the conservative narrative of obesity is unexpected. Some of the implications of this early congruence of the epigenetic and conservative narratives are discussed.
    Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL; 04/2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is rapidly rising, especially among minority and low-income youth. There is an unmet need to engage youth in identifying solutions to reverse this trajectory. Social marketing campaigns and entertainment education are effective forms of health communication for engaging populations in health-promoting behaviors. Critical to curbing the epidemic is moving the diabetes conversation away from individual behavior alone and toward a socioecologic perspective using a public health literacy framework. The authors developed an academic-community partnership to develop, implement, and evaluate a type 2 diabetes prevention campaign targeting minority and low-income youth. The Bigger Picture campaign uses hard-hitting, youth-generated spoken-word messages around key environmental and social drivers of the type 2 diabetes epidemic. Campaign goals included promoting health capacity and civic engagement. This article focuses on the development and implementation of the campaign, including (a) rationale and theoretical underpinnings, (b) steps in campaign creation, (c) testing the campaign messaging, and (d) campaign dissemination and evaluation planning. A youth-created health communication campaign using a public health literacy framework with targeted, relevant, and compelling messaging appears to be a promising vehicle for reaching at-risk youth to increase knowledge of and attitudes about preventing type 2 diabetes, change social norms, and motivate participation in health-promoting initiatives.
    Journal of Health Communication 10/2014; 19 Suppl 2:144-60. DOI:10.1080/10810730.2014.940476 · 1.61 Impact Factor

Preview

Download
1 Download
Available from