An Experimental Test of the Roles of Audience Involvement and Message Frame in Shaping Public Reactions to Celebrity Illness Disclosures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Much research has investigated what happens when celebrities disclose an illness (via media) to the public. While audience involvement (i.e., identification and parasocial relationships) is often the proposed mechanism linking illness disclosures with audience behavior change, survey designs have prevented researchers from understanding if audience involvement prior to the illness disclosure actually predicts post-disclosure emotions, cognitions, and behaviors. Rooted in previous work on audience involvement as well as the Extended Parallel Process Model, the present study uses a national online experiment (N = 1,068) to test how pre-disclosure audience involvement may initiate post-disclosure effects for the message context of skin cancer. The data demonstrate that pre-disclosure audience involvement as well as the celebrity’s framing of the disclosure can shape emotional responses (i.e., fear and hope), and that cognitive perceptions of the illness itself also influence behavioral intentions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1060-1068
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Communication
Volume34
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 29 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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