Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

School

Communication

Committee Chair

Dr. Kathryn Anthony

Committee Chair School

Communication

Committee Member 2

Dr. Steven Venette

Committee Member 2 School

Communication

Committee Member 3

Dr. John Meyer

Committee Member 3 School

Communication

Abstract

The following study employs the Extended Parallel Processing Model and Theory of Planned Behavior to understand how to create health messages with the greatest influence on individuals’ behavioral intent to adopt mosquito-borne virus protection behaviors. The study employs a 2 (susceptibility) x 2 (self-efficacy) factorial design, evenly distributing the participants between four messages (N=186). Although the selfefficacy manipulation was ultimately unsuccessful, the findings highlighted the significance of perceived susceptibility on one’s intent to adopt protective behaviors. The results exemplify the importance of the theoretical critical point of the EPPM, where danger control shifts to fear control, and the importance of balance between perceived susceptibility and efficacy. Other determining factors of behavioral intention included descriptive and injunctive norms, or the perceptions of others’ beliefs and behaviors toward a recommended health behavior. Conclusions from the current study aid in further understanding how to create influential and effective behavior-change health messages.

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