Nan Yu, assistant professor of communication, will have an article, "Communicating the Risks of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Effects of Message Framing and Exemplification," published in the journal Health Communication.
Co-authors are Lee Ahern, Colleen Connolly-Ahern and Fuyuan Shen.
Yu says Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a severe threat to babies born to mothers who consume alcohol during pregnancy. "This syndrome affects an estimated one in 100 live births in the U.S. or as many as 40,000 newborns each year," she said.
The article reveals that health messages can be informative or descriptive and emphasize potential losses or gains. Aimed at strategically using media messages to influence future mothers, this study found an advantage of messages with factual information and potential gains of preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in increasing perceived efficacy toward the disorder. Descriptive messages with the losses of not preventing the disorder revealed an advantage in increasing prevention intention, perceived severity and perceived fear toward the disorder.
According to the authors, the findings from this study could have significant implications for the health campaigns related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.