Using Culture-Centered Qualitative Formative Research to Design Broadcast Messages for HIV Prevention for African American Adolescents

Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 07/2008; 13(4):309-25. DOI: 10.1080/10810730802063215
Source: PubMed


The need for formative research in designing mass media health-education messages is widely accepted; however, distinct methodologies for developing such messages are less well documented. This article describes a culture-centered approach for developing messages to promote sexual risk reduction in urban African American adolescents. The method uses qualitative formative research to identify "competing narratives" that support healthy behavior despite the dominance of messages that favor risk-taking behavior. The method is illustrated using qualitative analysis of semistructured interviews with 124 adolescents. Analysis focuses on two barriers to sexual risk reduction: (a) social pressure for early initiation of sexual intercourse and (b) perceptions that condoms reduce sexual pleasure. We demonstrate how competing narratives identified in the analysis can be featured in radio and television messages advocating healthy behavior by modeling risk-reducing negotiation skills.

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    • "Formative research for systematic message development and design generally falls into two categories: (a) preproduction , where information about the health behavior, audience characteristics, potential messages and potential channels for the campaign are examined; and (b) production, where potential messages and channels are pre-tested with target audience members to assess their responses (Noar et al., 2009; Shafer, Cates, Diehl, & Hartmann, 2011). Formative research processes for developing HIV prevention messages have been previously reported (Andrasik et al., 2012; Horner et al., 2008; Uhrig, Eroglu, Bann, Wasserman, & Guenther-Grey, 2010; Wright, Fortune, Juzang, & Bull, 2011). Most recently, Andrasik and colleagues outlined the development of a media campaign that directly targeted participation in sexual networks (Andrasik et al., 2012) and included extensive discussion of preproduction research. "
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