A12 – Effect of Message Format and Content on Attitude Accessibility Regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections
Citation: Jain, P., Hoffman, E., Beam, M. & Xu, S. (2017). Effect of Message Format and Content on Attitude Accessibility Regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections. Health Communication, 32, 1376-1384.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are widespread in the United States among people ages 15–24 years and cost almost $16 billion yearly. It is therefore important to understand message design strategies that could help reduce these numbers. Guided by exemplification theory and the extended parallel process model (EPPM), this study examines the influence of message format and the presence versus absence of a graphic image on recipients’ accessibility of STI attitudes regarding safe sex. Results of the experiment indicate a significant effect from testimonial messages on increased attitude accessibility regarding STIs compared to statistical messages. Results also indicate a conditional indirect effect of testimonial messages on STI attitude accessibility, though threat is greater when a graphic image is included. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.