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Media & Health Promotion

Murrow faculty members examine the role of media and digital technology in contributing to healthier people and societies. Their research helps produce understanding and positive change in key health areas such as obesity reduction, alcohol abuse prevention, sexual assault reduction, sexual health promotion, and related topics.

Areas of Focus

A female pharmacist sits with a father and sick daughter

Communicating and promoting health:

Faculty in the Edward R. Murrow College develop and evaluate health campaigns. In addition to traditional mass media campaigns, faculty focus on digital technologies for health promotion, including eHealth and mHealth. Faculty members and the graduate students working with them have created health promotion campaigns for topics spanning mental health, chronic disease, alcohol and casual sex, nutrition, physical activity, among others. Evaluation studies take place in the lab but also in the field, allowing for research that impacts communities in applied settings.

Examining effects of media on health attitudes and outcomes:

Faculty have completed numerous studies that examine the media’s effect on health attitudes and behaviors. For example, researchers have examined how alcohol and tobacco advertising impact youth’s desire to use such products. Our faculty have also assessed how exposure to music videos, television programs, and social media can impact attitudes and behaviors related to romantic relationships, sexual assault, and interpersonal violence as well as nutrition and physical activity.

Improving media literacy in health contexts:

Faculty assess how an audience’s understanding of media messages influence health outcomes and behaviors. For example, faculty have worked with youth in the state to draw attention to how media producers create content that impacts health attitudes. Through this work, faculty members have examined the role media literacy can play in providing a protective factor to youth. Faculty also have experience working with underserved populations, examining how risks are perceived, how perceptions impact behaviors, and how communication can address challenges in complex systems.

Graduate Students:

  • Nicole Cameron
  • Kit Kaiser
  • Davi Kallman
  • Soojung Kang
  • Jiayu Li
  • Jiawei Liu
  • Shuang (Cheryl) Liu
  • Adrienne Muldrow
  • Zhaomeng (Gema) Niu
  • Nicole O’Donnell
  • Whitney Stefani
  • Jason Wheeler (Prevention Science)

Research Stories: Media & Health Promotion