Michael Hennessy

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States

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Publications (60)124.59 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Research on the relationship between adolescent health risk behaviors, sexual risk behaviors in particular, and perceived life satisfaction is emerging. Some researchers suggest that life satisfaction has been a neglected component of adolescent health research. African American adolescents aged 13-18 (n = 1,658) from four matched, mid-sized cities in the northeastern and southeastern USA, completed a self-report questionnaire via Audio Computer Assisted Self-Interview. Analyses were conducted to examine relationships between perceived difficulty in performing HIV/AIDS preventive behavior and perceived life satisfaction, while controlling for socioeconomic status. Results suggest that perceived life satisfaction is related to perceived difficulty in performing HIV/AIDS preventive behaviors, for both males and females, with variability in the magnitude of associations by gender. Further research is necessary to identify the particular characteristics of youth and specific aspects of adolescent life satisfaction associated with perceived difficulty in performing HIV/AIDS preventive behavior to develop gender-appropriate and culturally-sensitive quality of life/health promotion programs.
    AIDS and Behavior 09/2014; · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. Because household smoking levels and adoption of domestic smoking rules may be endogenously related, we estimated a nonrecursive regression model to determine the simultaneous relationship between home smoking restrictions and household smoking. Methods. We used data from a May-June 2012 survey of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, households with smokers (n = 456) to determine the simultaneous association between smoking levels in the home and the presence of home restrictions on smoking. Results. We found that home smoking rules predicted smoking in the home but smoking in the home had no effect on home smoking restrictions. Conclusions. Absent in-home randomized experiments, a quasi-experimental causal inference suggesting that home smoking rules result in lower home smoking levels may be plausible. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print February 13, 2014: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301634).
    American Journal of Public Health 02/2014; · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We identified household, child, and demographic characteristics associated with not having a smoking ban and having a rule about smoking in the presence of children in an urban population. We conducted a cross-sectional random digit dial telephone survey (n=456) of Philadelphia parents in June 2012. Forty-eight percent of homes reported a full smoking ban. In homes that allowed smoking, over half allowed smoking in front of children. Cigarettes smoked in the home decreased as the restrictiveness of the bans increased. Multinomial logistic regression analyses showed that compared to having a full ban, banning smoking only in the presence of children was associated with being African-American, having a child >5 years old, and having an asthma-free child. These characteristics, as well as having both parents as smokers and not having an outdoor space, were also associated with not having any restrictions. It is possible that households attempt to reduce home smoking by limiting smoking in the presence of children. Health communication messages should be used to inform families about the lingering effects of SHS in the home even when smoking does not occur in the presence of a child.
    Preventive Medicine 12/2013; · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The heightened risk of persons with serious mental illness (SMI) to contract and transmit human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a public health problem. Our objective was test the effectiveness of a community-based advanced practice nurse intervention to promote adherence to HIV and psychiatric treatment regimens call Preventing AIDS Through Health for Positives (PATH+). We enrolled 238 HIV-positive subjects with SMI who were in treatment at community HIV provider agencies from 2004 to 2009. Participants in the intervention group were assigned an advanced practice nurse who provided community-based care management at a minimum of one visit/week and coordinated their medical and mental healthcare for 12 months. A parallel process latent growth curve model using three data points for biomarkers (baseline, 12 and 24 months) and five data points for health related quality of life (baseline, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months) showed moderate to excellent fit for modeling changes in CD4, viral load, and mental and physical SF-12 subscales. Results suggest that positive effects for PATH+ persisted at 24 months; 12 months after the intervention ended. This project demonstrates the effectiveness of a nurse-led, community-based, individually tailored adherence intervention. We demonstrated improved outcomes in individuals with HIV/SMI and regarding health-related quality of life and reductions in disease burden.
    AIDS and Behavior 09/2013; · 3.49 Impact Factor
  • Michael Hennessy, Amy Bleakley, Giridhar Mallya, Dan Romer
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    ABSTRACT: Smoking in homes exposes family members to secondhand smoke, an exposure that is harmful to children and adults. This study identifies barriers to instituting household smoking bans and beliefs that are positively and negatively related to smoking bans in households with smokers. A telephone survey of parents living in Philadelphia with at least 1 smoker and a child under the age of 13 years in the household was conducted in 2012. Using the reasoned action model, the survey assessed beliefs regarding attitudes, norms, and self-efficacy/control predictors of intention to ban household smoking. Forty-seven percent of households reported high intention to not allow smoking in the home. Regression analysis to identify the reasoned action predictors associated with intention to restrict smoking in the home showed that all 3 of the predictors of intention (attitude, normative pressure, and control) were significantly related to intention. Important underlying beliefs related to intention included beliefs about the health effects of secondhand smoke on children's health, norms regarding those restrictions, and barriers to enforcing such restrictions. Messages that increase concern about the health effects of secondhand smoke on children, that contrast the rights of smokers with negative health effects, and that suggest alternative locations to smoke are promising strategies to motivate smokers to implement indoor smoking bans.
    Nicotine & Tobacco Research 08/2013; · 2.48 Impact Factor
  • Amy Bleakley, Amy B Jordan, Michael Hennessy
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:To examine the effect of parental television viewing on children's television viewing compared with traditional predictors such as household television access, parental rules, and demographic characteristics of the child, parent, and household.METHODS:An online survey using national samples of 1550 parents with children in 3 age groups (children ≤5 years, children aged 6-11 years, and adolescents aged 12-17 years), weighted to be representative of US parents with children in each age group. Adolescents (n = 629) of participating parents were also surveyed.RESULTS:Parent television time is associated with child television time and had a stronger relationship to child time than access to television in the home or the child's bedroom, as well as parental rules about television viewing and coviewing. This pattern persisted across all age groups of children.CONCLUSIONS:Educating parents about the relationship between their own and their child's viewing may be a useful strategy for interventions that aim to reduce children's excessive television viewing. Additionally, health professionals can engage parents in a discussion about how family television time is associated with increased television time for children.
    PEDIATRICS 07/2013; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using the Integrated Model of Behavioral Prediction, this study examines the effects of exposure to sexual content on television by genre, specifically looking at comedy, drama, cartoon, and reality programs, on adolescents' sex-related cognitions and behaviors. Additionally, we compared the amount and explicitness of sexual content as well as the frequency of risk and responsibility messages in these four genres. Findings show that overall exposure to sexual content on television was not related to teens' engagement in sexual intercourse the following year. When examined by genre, exposure to sexual content in comedies was positively associated while exposure to sexual content in dramas was negatively associated with attitudes regarding sex, perceived normative pressure, intentions, and engaging in sex one year later. Implications of adolescent exposure to various types of content and for using genre categories to examine exposure and effects are discussed.
    Communication Research 02/2013; 40(1). · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Scientific evidence demonstrates a link between viewing time and several poor health outcomes. We use a reasoned action approach to identify the determinants and beliefs associated with parents' intention to limit their children's television viewing. METHODS: We surveyed a random sample of 516 caregivers to children ages 3-16 in a large Northeastern city. Multiple regression analyses were used to test a reasoned action model and examine the differences across demographic groups. RESULTS: The intention to limit viewing (-3 to 3) was low among parents of adolescents (M: 0.05) compared with parents of 3-6 year olds (M: 1.49) and 7-12 year olds (M: 1.16). Attitudes were the strongest determinant of intention (β = 0.43) across all demographic groups and normative pressure was also significantly related to intention (β = 0.20), except among parents of adolescents. Relevant beliefs associated with intention to limit viewing included: limiting television would be associated with the child exercising more, doing better in school, talking to family more and having less exposure to inappropriate content. CONCLUSIONS: Attitudes and normative pressure play an important role in determining parents' intention to limit their child's television viewing. The beliefs that were associated with parents' intention to limit should be emphasized by health professionals and in health communication campaigns.
    Journal of Public Health 01/2013; · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. We estimated the long-term (36-month) effects of Project iMPPACS, a multisite randomized controlled trial of mass media and small-group intervention for African American adolescents. Methods. We collected 6 waves of longitudinal data on program participants aged 14 to 17 years (n = 1139) in Providence, Rhode Island; Syracuse, New York; Columbia, South Carolina; and Macon, Georgia, 36 months (December 2009-December 2010) after the intervention began (August 2006-January 2008). Seemingly unrelated regressions at each wave estimated the effects of 3 types of mass media messages (the thematic mediators: selection, pleasure, and negotiation) on condom use intention and self-reported unprotected vaginal sex events. Results. All 3 mediators of behavior change that were introduced during the media intervention were sustained at the follow-up assessments at least 18 months after the intervention ended, with intention having the largest correlation. Unprotected vaginal sex increased with each wave of the study, although cities receiving media exposure had smaller increases. Conclusions. Project iMPPACS demonstrates that mass media influence delivered over an extended period, when adolescents were beginning to learn patterns of behavior associated with sex, persisted after the media program ended. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print November 15, 2012: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300856).
    American Journal of Public Health 11/2012; · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    Michael Hennessy, Amy Bleakley, Martin Fishbein
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    ABSTRACT: Quantitative researchers distinguish between causal and effect indicators. What are the analytic problems when both types of measures are present in a quantitative reasoned action analysis? To answer this question, we use data from a longitudinal study to estimate the association between two constructs central to reasoned action theory: behavioral beliefs and attitudes toward the behavior. The belief items are causal indicators that define a latent variable index while the attitude items are effect indicators that reflect the operation of a latent variable scale. We identify the issues when effect and causal indicators are present in a single analysis and conclude that both types of indicators can be incorporated in the analysis of data based on the reasoned action approach.
    The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 03/2012; 640(1):42-57. · 1.01 Impact Factor
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    Amy Bleakley, Michael Hennessy
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    ABSTRACT: This article serves as a guide for conducting statistical analyses in a reasoned action context. Using structural equation modeling concepts, the authors identify two elements of reasoned action data: the structural component relating theoretical variables to one another and a measurement component defining the theoretical constructs. The authors then describe a three-step analytic approach: analyzing the proximal determinants of intention to perform a behavior, analyzing the underlying beliefs, and performing a segmentation analysis for intervention design purposes. In each step, when appropriate, the authors discuss the role of background/precursor variables. The authors conclude by addressing several common analytic issues that may arise when conducting a reasoned action analysis, such as the role of past behavior and testing for moderation.
    The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 01/2012; 640(1):28-41. · 1.01 Impact Factor
  • Michael B. Blank, Michael Hennessy
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    ABSTRACT: There is confusion regarding reason and rational thought as a precondition for interventions designed using a reasoned action approach. To test their feasibility, two interventions were developed for use with persons with mental illnesses, using the reasoned action model. Preventing AIDS through Health (PATH) was delivered one-on-one by case managers to persons with mental illnesses who were HIV sero-negative, and another (PATH PLUS) was delivered by nurses to persons with mental illness who were sero-positive. Using these data, this article examines the utility of a reasoned action approach to HIV prevention among persons with a variety of serious mental illnesses. It appears that a reasoned action approach is useful for persons with severe mental illnesses and may be a useful strategy for changing intentions and behavior among this population. This has implications for further research on the role of nonnormative belief systems in predicting behavior.
    The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 01/2012; 640(1):173-188. · 1.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity continues to be a major public health concern for America's children, with obesity rates for preschoolers tripling in the past 30 years and quadrupling for children aged 6 to 11. Television viewing has been shown to have a small, but significant association with childhood overweight. While research is ongoing to understand the pathways from television to overweight, the Surgeon General recommends that parents limit children's TV viewing to two hours per day. Previous research has highlighted parental behaviors that could result in decreased television viewing at home. These include: (1) no TV in a child's bedroom, (2) no background TV, (3) no TV during meals, and (4) no TV the hour before sleeping. While all should be associated with decreased viewing, it is unclear whether and how these associations may differ across demographic factors (i.e. child age, parent education, child race, family income). Using cross-sectional data from a random sample of 360 parents of children aged 3-12 living in a large urban city, we confirmed a significant association between each behavior and reduced viewing. Interestingly, when investigating moderation, only one behavior maintained a consistent association with reduced viewing across all demographic variables no television the hour before sleeping. As children's poor sleep has been linked to overweight, this finding identifies a modifiable behavior that may be used to counter childhood overweight.
    139st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2011; 10/2011
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    ABSTRACT: To test the long-term effects of a mass media intervention that used culturally and developmentally appropriate messages to enhance human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-preventive beliefs and behavior of high-risk African American adolescents. Television and radio messages were delivered for more than 3 years in two cities (Syracuse, NY; and Macon, GA) that were randomly selected within each of the two regionally matched city pairs, with the other cities (Providence, RI; and Columbia, SC) serving as controls. African American adolescents, aged 14-17 years (N = 1,710), recruited in the four cities over a 16-month period, completed audio computer-assisted self-interviews at recruitment and again at 3, 6, 12, and 18-months postrecruitment to assess the long-term effects of the media program. To identify the unique effects of the media intervention, youth who completed at least one follow-up and who did not test positive for any of the three sexually transmitted infections at recruitment or at 6-and 12-month follow-up were retained for analysis (N = 1,346). The media intervention reached virtually all the adolescents in the trial and produced a range of effects including improved normative condom-use negotiation expectancies and increased sex refusal self-efficacy. Most importantly, older adolescents (aged 16-17 years) exposed to the media program showed a less risky age trajectory of unprotected sex than those in the nonmedia cities. Culturally tailored mass media messages that are delivered consistently over time have the potential to reach a large audience of high-risk adolescents, to support changes in HIV-preventive beliefs, and to reduce HIV-associated risk behaviors among older youth.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 09/2011; 49(3):244-51. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    Amy Bleakley, Michael Hennessy, Martin Fishbein
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    ABSTRACT: This article reports on the extent to which adolescents report actively seeking sexual content in media, identifies from which media they report seeking, estimates the association between seeking sexual information and romantic and sexual behavior, and shows that active seeking of sexual content in media sources is explained by an intention to seek such content using the Integrative Model of Behavioral Prediction, a reasoned action approach. The data are a national sample of 810 adolescents aged 13 to 18 years. Results show that 50% of adolescents reported actively seeking sexual content in their media choices, which included movies, television, music, Internet pornography sites, and magazines. Males sought sex content more than females, and gender differences were greatest for seeking from Internet pornography sites, movies, and television. Path analysis demonstrate that seeking sexual content is well-predicted by intentions to seek, and intentions are primarily driven by perceived normative pressure to seek sexual content.
    The Journal of Sex Research 07/2011; 48(4):309-15. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Published research demonstrates an association between exposure to media sexual content and a variety of sex-related outcomes for adolescents. What is not known is the mechanism through which sexual content produces this "media effect" on adolescent beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. Using the Integrative Model of Behavioral Prediction, this article uses data from a longitudinal study of adolescents ages 16 to 18 (N = 460) to determine how exposure to sexual media content influences sexual behavior. Path analysis and structural equation modeling demonstrated that intention to engage in sexual intercourse is determined by a combination of attitudes, normative pressure, and self-efficacy but that exposure to sexual media content only affects normative pressure beliefs. By applying the Integrative Model, we are able to identify which beliefs are influenced by exposure to media sex and improve the ability of health educators, researchers, and others to design effective messages for health communication campaigns and messages pertaining to adolescents' engaging in sexual intercourse.
    Health Education &amp Behavior 05/2011; 38(5):530-40. · 1.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the long-term effects of two interventions designed to reduce sexual risk behavior among African American adolescents. African American adolescents (N = 1383, ages 14-17) were recruited from community-based organizations over a period of 16 months in two northeastern and two southeastern mid-sized U.S. cities with high rates of sexually transmitted infection (STI). Participants were screened for three STIs (gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis) and completed an audio computer-assisted attitude, intention, and behavior self-interview. Youth who tested positive for an STI (8.3%) received treatment and risk reduction counseling. In addition, television and radio HIV-prevention messages were delivered during the recruitment period and 18 months of follow-up in one randomly selected city in each region. Analyses determined effects of the media program for those receiving a positive versus negative STI test result on number of sexual partners and occurrence of unprotected sex. Adolescents who tested STI-positive reduced their number of vaginal sex partners and the probability of unprotected sex over the first 6 months. However, in the absence of the mass media program, adolescents returned to their previously high levels of sexual risk behavior after 6 months. Adolescents who tested STI-positive and received the mass media program showed more stable reductions in unprotected sex. Community-based STI treatment and counseling can achieve significant, but short-lived reductions in sexual risk behavior among STI-positive youth. A culturally sensitive mass media program has the potential to achieve more stable reductions in sexual risk behavior and can help to optimize the effects of community-based STI screening.
    AIDS and Behavior 04/2011; 15(8):1755-63. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report on African American adolescents' (N = 850; M age = 15.4) contraceptive practices and type of contraception utilized during their last sexual encounter. Respondents completed measures of demographics, contraceptive use, sexual partner type, and ability to select "safe" sexual partners. 40% endorsed use of dual or multiple contraceptive methods; a total of 35 different contraceptive combinations were reported. Perceived ability to select "safe" partners was associated with not using contraception (OR = 1.25), using less effective contraceptive methods (OR = 1.23), or hormonal birth control (OR = 1.50). Female gender predicted hormonal birth control use (OR = 2.33), use of less effective contraceptive methods (e.g., withdrawal; OR = 2.47), and using no contraception (OR = 2.37). Respondents' age and partner type did not predict contraception use. Adolescents used contraceptive methods with limited ability to prevent both unintended pregnancies and STD/HIV. Adolescents who believed their partners posed low risk were more likely to use contraceptive practices other than condoms or no contraception. Reproductive health practitioners are encouraged to help youth negotiate contraceptive use with partners, regardless of the partner's perceived riskiness.
    Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology 01/2011; 2011:765917.
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    ABSTRACT: The HPV vaccine offers hope that the incidence of cervical cancer can be dramatically reduced worldwide. In the U.S., cervical cancer has become primarily a disease of low-income minority women. To improve understanding about vaccination barriers, we investigated (a) HPV vaccination prevalence and (b) the association between HPV vaccine acceptability (intentions and uptake) and demographic, health behavior, and psychosocial variables. African-American girls enrolled in a four-city HIV prevention trial (N = 915; M age = 15) completed computer-assisted interviews that assessed HPV vaccination intent and uptake, HPV knowledge, physician trust, STD history, sexual behavior, and exposure to Gardasil ads. Approximately two-thirds (65%) had heard of Gardasil and 26% reported having received the vaccine. Vaccination rates were higher in two northern cities relative to two southern cities (35% vs. 19%). In multivariate logistic regression analyses, greater HPV knowledge (p
    138st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2010; 11/2010
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    ABSTRACT: We identify the adolescent and family factors that shape the time adolescents spend viewing television. Adolescent traits, family/household characteristics, television access, and TV viewing time were assessed by self-report using a web-based survey conducted with a sample of 457 14- to 16-year-old adolescents in a Northeastern US city. Bivariate analyses indicated that the number of televisions in the home, having a bedroom TV, and subscribing to premium cable/satellite channels were each positively and significantly associated with television viewing time. Regression results show that having greater access to TV significantly increased viewing independent of adolescent and family variables. In addition, the influence of different forms of access on adolescent time varied by respondent race. Having a television set in the bedroom was the strongest predictor of TV time for White adolescents, and having more television sets in the home was the strongest predictor of TV time for Black adolescents. The pattern of findings suggests that interventions should encourage parents to make their adolescents' bedrooms television free and to reduce the number of television sets in the home. Campaigns designed to reduce TV viewing may be most effective if they are tailored for distinct audiences.
    Journal of Children and Media 11/2010; 4(4):355-370.

Publication Stats

688 Citations
124.59 Total Impact Points


  • 2002–2013
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • • Annenberg Public Policy Center
      • • Annenberg School for Communication
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 2010
    • University of Wisconsin, Madison
      • School of Journalism and Mass Communication
      Madison, MS, United States
  • 2009
    • State University of New York
      New York City, New York, United States
    • Rhode Island Hospital
      Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  • 2008
    • University of Minnesota Twin Cities
      • School of Journalism and Mass Communication
      Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 1999–2002
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      Atlanta, Michigan, United States