Send to

Choose Destination
Health Commun. 2017 Feb;32(2):189-199. Epub 2016 May 19.

Integrating Self-Affirmation with Health Risk Messages: Effects on Message Evaluation and Response.

Author information

a School of Communication , Florida State University.


This study tested a new method of using self-affirmation theory to increase adaptive responses to health risk messages. Participants' self-concepts were affirmed via text integrated with risk messages (public service announcements/PSAs) rather than by methods used in most previous studies that have limited applicability for campaigns employing mediated messages. Participants were exposed to health risk PSAs either including or not including affirming text to examine relative effects on message evaluation and adaptive responses. The moderating effect of personal relevance of the behavior on responses was also examined. Participants exposed to PSAs with integrated, affirming text (affirmed participants) reported more positive attitudes toward the PSA, greater self-efficacy, and greater intention to reduce risky behavior than participants exposed to messages without affirming text (non-affirmed participants). Compared to non-affirmed participants, affirmed participants also reported weaker perceptions of risk severity and equivalent perceptions of susceptibility. The personal relevance of the behavior did not moderate any effects of self-affirmation. Implications for health campaigns that employ mass-mediated messages are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center