Amy Bleakley

Amy Bleakley
University of Delaware | UDel UD · Department of Communication

PhD, MPH

About

110
Publications
86,958
Reads
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3,271
Citations
Citations since 2016
53 Research Items
2034 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
Additional affiliations
January 2005 - November 2015
University of Pennsylvania
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (110)
Article
Full-text available
Alcohol use and sexual behavior are important risk behaviors in adolescent development, and combining the two is common. The reasoned action approach (RAA) is used to predict adolescents’ intention to combine alcohol use and sexual behavior based on exposure to alcohol and sex combinations in popular entertainment media. We conducted a content anal...
Article
Objective: This study evaluates a citywide media campaign that targeted reducing sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption as a strategy for addressing obesity. Design: Rolling cross-sectional survey data, collected before and during the media campaign, with 1367 parents to assess exposure to and effect of a televised public service advertiseme...
Article
Purpose: To investigate how exposure to sex, alcohol and violent content in mainstream and Black-oriented movies relates to corresponding adolescent behavior among Black youth from the United States and whether those relationships are moderated by ethnic identity. Methods: The present study uses survey data from an online sample of 1000 Black ad...
Article
Indoor tanning is a risk factor for melanoma among young white women. Health communications can be an effective way of reaching this population and promoting behavior change. The purpose of this study was (i) to investigate the associations between intention to quit indoor tanning and attitudes, normative pressure, and efficacy about quitting, and...
Article
Adolescents spend many hours per day watching television, and there are racial differences in time spent watching television and in show preferences. Prior research suggests there are also differential associations in how exposure to media content affects adolescent behavior. This study examines the demographic representation of main characters and...
Article
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This project examines the intersection of political constructs and epistemic motivations as they relate to belief in misinformation. How we value the origins of knowledge – through feelings and intuition or evidence and data – has important implications for our susceptibility to misinformation. This project explores how these epistemic motivations...
Article
Wearing a face mask is effective in minimizing the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among unvaccinated individuals and preventing severe illness among the vaccinated. Country, state and local guidelines promote, and at times mandate, mask-wearing despite it being publicly perceived as an individual’s choice. Guided by the Health Belief...
Article
Understanding why sports and energy drinks remain increasingly popular among adolescents despite declines in other sugar sweetened beverages is critical. This study points to memory for advertising exposure and adolescent athletic identity as two aspects that together help to explain consumption. An online survey of U.S. adolescents aged 14-18 (n =...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic is a health emergency in which public health policy, such as state-mandated stay-at-home orders, has the potential to reduce the speed of disease transmission and prevent the overwhelming of hospital infrastructure and unnecessary deaths. Using the Ideological Health Spirals Model (IHSM), this analysis examines how state-manda...
Article
Purpose: To understand what factors are associated with adolescents' perceived healthfulness of sports drinks (SD) and of energy drinks (ED), with a focus on health risk, athletics, and media-related variables. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: Online. Subjects: U.S. adolescents ages 14-18 years (n = 501) recruited from a combination...
Article
Background: There is a lack of racial, ethnic, and sex diversity in recruitment research registries and Alzheimer's disease (AD) research studies and trials. Theory-based recruitment messages may provide an opportunity to increase study participant diversity in AD research studies and trials. Objective: To identify behavioral, normative, and con...
Article
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Content analysis of traditional and social media has a central role in investigating features of media content, measuring media exposure, and calculation of media effects. The reliability of content coding is usually evaluated using “kappa-centric” agreement measures, but these measures produce results that aggregate individual coder decisions whic...
Article
Overconsumption of red and processed meat is associated with a multitude of negative health outcomes. Previous research shows exposure to advertising messaging can influence dietary behaviors but research on the influence of meat advertising on diet, specifically, is scant. Theoretically informed by the Reasoned Action Approach, the present experim...
Article
This study examines beliefs about sunscreen use among non-Hispanic white adults aged 50 years or older using online survey data (n = 237). Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine beliefs associated with sunscreen use, adjusted by age, gender, education, geographic location, and skin cancer risk score. Those who believed suns...
Article
In the digital neighborhood, Black and Hispanic youth communicate about issues they face, including sex and substance use. This population of young people is also disproportionately burdened by negative consequences associated with sex and substance use behaviors even when their behavior is less risky. Given the increased likelihood of negative out...
Article
This study identifies constructs from key persuasion theories that are present in popular sports and energy drink advertising. A theory-driven content analysis was conducted on 315 popular television and social media sports and energy drink advertisements from top selling brands. The advertisements were analyzed for the presence of persuasive cues...
Article
The current project examines how psychological reactance and conflict orientation relate to the highly politicized debate over mask-wearing in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. We explore how psychological reactance and conflict orientation are related to self-reported mask-wearing, and how these same predispositions are correlated with politi...
Article
Research indicates that misperceptions that become part of people’s initial mental models about an issue tend to persist and influence their attitudes even after the misperception has been corrected. Recent work on evolving mental models suggests that communication efforts about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath may be improved by cra...
Article
Research registries have been developed as a strategy to accelerate enrollment into Alzheimer’s disease studies. However, there remains a need to increase both total enrollment and diversity of race and gender among registry enrollees and study participants. The goal of this study was to learn how enrollees describe registries with a focus on ident...
Article
American adolescents consume more sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) than any other age group. Sports and energy drinks consumption among adolescents is higher than other SSBs. For sports drinks, there is uncertainty about their “healthiness” and also beliefs that these drinks may provide health benefits such as hydration, enhanced athletic performan...
Article
Full-text available
Anti-Asian xenophobia (AAX) spiked during Covid-19, exacerbating health disparities among affected groups. This study uses data from a national survey to identify predictors of AAX to enable targeting of audience segments and effective messaging to counteract Anti-Asian attitudes and behaviors. Using Intergroup Threat Theory (ITT) to pinpoint possi...
Article
Background COVID-19 vaccine uptake is an urgent public health priority. Purpose To identify psychosocial determinants (attitudes, normative pressure, and perceived behavioral control) of COVID-19 vaccination intentions for U.S. White, Black, and Hispanic adults, and how COVID-19 misperceptions, beliefs about the value of science, and perceived med...
Article
Sexual and violent media content is prevalent, and adolescents exposed to this content may be more likely to enact risky sexual and aggressive behaviors. According to the Differential Susceptibility Model, dispositional traits, such as empathy, can predict risky media exposure and moderate the relationship between exposure and behavior. A total of...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus a shift in the communication of health-related information. Traditionally, public service announcements (PSAs) consisted of video or radio messages, posters, or billboards created by government agencies and health organizations to provide information about health topics. However, the widespread use of th...
Article
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak poses a substantial threat to public health. Individual efforts to engage in COVID-19 precautionary behaviors are necessary to flatten the pandemic's curve in the waiting period before a vaccine is developed. This study sought to apply the Theory of Motivated Information Management to investigate the relationship...
Article
Full-text available
Structural determinants of health like neighborhood are often overlooked in the context of understanding public awareness of health topics and health information seeking behaviors. Seeking health information is particularly relevant given that some communities have higher prevalence of disease than others. Using the Structural Influence Model of He...
Article
Objectives: Indoor tanning, which is most common among 18-25-year-old white women, increases the risk of skin cancer. To address this problem, we developed and tested messages with a national sample of indoor tanners to determine beliefs that would encourage them to quit. Methods: Messages discouraging indoor tanning using different persuasive them...
Article
Consumption of red meat has been linked to a variety of health issues, yet Americans are resistant to reducing their meat consumption. Family communication environments shape beliefs about food and meat consumption, and therefore are locations for potential interventions to change the way people think about food. Families are embedded in cultures,...
Article
Chronic hepatitis B, a condition associated with severe complications, disproportionately affects Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Increasing testing among this population is critical for improving health outcomes. This study compares different types of video narratives that use storytelling techniques to an informational...
Article
Background Recommendations for skin cancer prevention include behaviors such as using sunscreen, seeking shade, and wearing a shirt with sleeves, but the best way to persuasively communicate this information to the public is not clear. Purpose To test whether a messaging strategy using videos that focus on one specific behavior at a time versus a...
Article
Purpose: Combinations of risk behaviors are common in popular media, which make it difficult to understand how exposure to risk content affects adolescent risk behaviors. The purpose of this study was to determine whether media effects associated with exposure to multiple risk behaviors (i.e., combined alcohol and sex, sex only, alcohol only, and...
Article
Using the integrative model (IM), we developed and tested messages to encourage adults to accompany their parent to a memory doctor for a cognitive evaluation. We conducted in-depth interviews (n = 60) with African American and White adults with a parent age 65+ to identify key beliefs. Next, we carried out an IM-based telephone survey with a repre...
Article
Media exposure to risky behaviors (e.g., alcohol use, violence) has been associated with adolescent engagement in risk-taking behaviors, but not all adolescents are equally at risk. Here we focus on individual differences in impulsivity and sensation seeking and assess their effects on the relation between media risk exposure and adolescent risk be...
Article
Full-text available
Although skin cancer incidence is highest among non-Hispanic Whites, minority populations are often diagnosed with more advanced stage disease and are more likely to experience poor outcomes. Fewer people of color do not practice primary prevention of skin cancer according to recommendations, but public health education and interventions to promote...
Article
The digital neighborhood is the amalgamation of the spaces online where youth connect with others. Just as Black and Hispanic youth live in neighborhoods that influence their health, they are also influenced by online digital neighborhoods. Youth are exposed to social media content featuring substance use, sexual risk, and violence, yet little is k...
Article
Introduction: Skin cancer prevention guidelines recommend practicing multiple behaviors to protect against harmful ultraviolet rays, yet few adults report practicing more than one recommended behavior. This study examines the extent to which skin cancer prevention behaviors are combined and may follow a pattern of compensation in which an individu...
Article
Media violence exposure (MVE) is associated with aggressive outcomes in adolescents. However, based on the differential susceptibility hypothesis, this risk is expected to vary based on the individual's unique risk and protective factors. Using survey data from 1,990 adolescents (Mean age = 15.6 ± 1.10 years; 48% female) and content analysis of U.S...
Article
Purpose: Indoor tanning is associated with an increased risk of developing skin cancer. In the United States, nearly 1 in 5 white women aged 18 to 25 are indoor tanners. This study elicited beliefs about tanning indoors and quitting/cutting back on indoor tanning. Design: Semi-structured interviews. Participants and setting: Forty 18- to 25-ye...
Article
Black-oriented media, content with predominately Black casts and/or racial themes, is marketed primarily toward Black audiences. However, how audiences perceive such targeting is unclear. To investigate this, Black and White adolescents (n=1,990) identified the perceived target audiences of 15 movies (12 Black-oriented). Results from Item Response...
Article
Full-text available
Screening for hepatitis B (HBV) among high-risk young adults can help prevent its transmission and lead to earlier treatment and better long-term health outcomes. Yet few interventions have focused on increasing HBV awareness among young adults. Social media (SM) may be an effective method for disseminating information and engaging young adults abo...
Article
Context: Parents, peers and media are informal sources of sexual information for adolescents. Although the content of sexual information communicated by these sources is known to vary, little is known about what adolescents report actually learning from each source. Methods: Data from 1,990 U.S.14-17-year-olds who participated in an online surve...
Article
Nearly 20 years after the Telecommunications Act of 1996, it is unclear how its mandates influence current parents’ mediation behavior. Parents of 2- to 17-year-old children (N = 1,431) were surveyed about their awareness and perceptions of the TV ratings system and use of the V-chip. Most (81%) parents knew about the ratings system and found it to...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter reviews various conceptualizations of problematic Internet use and Internet addiction, patterns of use, and related therapeutic interventions. Youth are vulnerable to engaging in problematic Internet behavior. The term “Internet addiction” is often used to describe extreme instances of such behavior, but there is a lack of consensus on...
Article
The reasoned action approach is one of the most successful behavioral theories in the history of social psychology. This study outlines the theoretical principles of reasoned action and considers when it is appropriate to augment it with a new variable. To demonstrate, we use survey data collected from a 4 to 17 year old U.S. adolescents to test ho...
Article
Full-text available
Adolescent exposure to risk in film has been associated with behavior. We coded Black and White character involvement in sex, violence, alcohol use, and tobacco use, and combinations of those behaviors in popular mainstream and Black-oriented films (film n = 63, character n = 426). Health risk portrayals were common, with the majority of characters...
Article
Full-text available
Media are one source for adolescent identity development and social identity gratifications. Nielsen viewing data across the 2014-2015 television season for adolescents ages 14-17 was used to examine racial and gender diversity in adolescent television exposure. Compared to US Census data, mainstream shows under represent women, but the proportion...
Article
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There has been significant interest in the role of social media in the lives of adolescents, particularly as it relates to sexual risk. Researchers have focused on understanding usage behaviors, quantifying effects of social media exposure and activity, and using social media to intervene. Much of this work has focused on college students and non-m...
Article
Full-text available
The internet has transformed the way youth communicate, learn, and network, with implications for their broader social, psychological, and physical health and well-being. With the technological capability of accessing the internet from anywhere, at any time, paired with the enormous variety of internet activities in which youth engage—from social n...
Article
Research indicates that media campaigns targeting weight-related behaviors can make overweight individuals feel stigmatized and may create backlash effects in weight-related health behavior. Using weight-based identity threat theory as a guiding framework, this study investigates the role of prior weight stigmatization in adults’ reactions to publi...
Article
In this article, we describe a novel experimental approach for identifying the effectiveness of distinct persuasive strategies used in audiovisual (television-format) public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to encourage parents to reduce their children’s sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption. Eight-hundred and seven parents were assigned...
Article
Mass media campaigns are a commonly used approach to reduce sugary drink consumption, which is linked to obesity in children and adolescents. The present study investigated the direct and mediated effects of emotional appeals in public service advertisements (PSAs) that aired between 2010 and 2012 on adolescents' intention to reduce their sugar-swe...
Article
The family system plays an important role in shaping children’s television use. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that parents limit screen time, given the risks associated with children’s heavy television viewing. Researchers have highlighted family television practices that may be effective for reducing children’s viewing, but mo...
Article
To examine how parents' beliefs about beverage attributes and exposure to sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) advertising are associated with parents' and their children's SSB consumption. Cross-sectional representative telephone survey of Philadelphia parents in households with children between the ages of 3 and 16 years. Three hundred and seventy-one...
Article
Proliferating internet-accessible media have altered the home context, raising questions about parental influence on youth computer/internet use. This study examines parents' monitoring, internet mediation, and modeling behaviors as predictors of adolescents' computer/internet use among 629 US adolescents and their parents. Parents' time spent with...
Article
With many adolescents using the internet to communicate with their peers, online harassment is on the rise among youth. The purpose of this study was to understand how parental monitoring and strategies parents use to regulate children’s internet use (i.e., internet restriction) can help reduce online harassment among adolescents. Online survey dat...
Article
Objectives: Sexual information sources used by young adults can influence their contraceptive knowledge and behaviors, yet little is known about sources most frequently used by young adults, especially by groups with histories of sexual risk involvement. Study design: Nationally representative data from 1800 unmarried young adults, aged 18-29 ye...
Article
Objectives: To assess desensitization in parents' repeated exposure to violence and sex in movies. Methods: A national US sample of 1000 parents living with at least 1 target child in 1 of 3 age groups (6 to 17 years old) viewed a random sequence of 3 pairs of short scenes with either violent or sexual content from popular movies that were unres...
Article
Objective: This study examined local news media's framing of obesity preceding and surrounding the Philadelphia sugar-sweetened beverage reduction media campaign. Methods: Using key search terms pertaining to obesity and sugary beverages, the authors searched the LexisNexis database and gathered local news stories (n = 167) that were aired or pu...
Article
This is a collection of the reports on the Annenberg national surveys that explored Americans' knowledge and opinions about the new digital-marketing world that was becoming part of their lives. So far we’ve released seven reports on the subject, in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, and 2012. The reports raised or deepened a range of provocative...
Chapter
Cultivation theory, in late 1960s, rested on the recognition that industrialized mass-mediated storytelling, most clearly exemplified by television (TV) programming, the dominant entertainment medium of American culture. The theory proposed that heavy viewing of such content “cultivated” a fearful attitude to the world, which had gradual but seriou...
Article
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, househol...
Article
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 smok...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To determine the extent to which movies popular with adolescents feature characters who jointly engage in violence and other risk behaviors. We hypothesized that violent characters engage in other risk behaviors equally often in films rated appropriate for children over 12 (PG-13) and Restricted (R)-rated films. Methods: Content analy...
Article
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...
Article
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 gro...
Article
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...
Article
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 la...
Article
Because popular media such as movies can both reflect and contribute to changes in cultural norms and values, we examined gender differences and trends in the portrayal of sexual and violent content in top-grossing films from 1950 to 2006. The sample included 855 of the top-grossing films released over 57 years, from 1950 to 2006. The number of fem...