Objective: The current study examined message fatigue as a theoretical explanation for college students’ resistance to anti–binge drinking messaging. Specifically, inattention and psychological reactance were examined as mediators bridging the message fatigue and perceived message effectiveness relationship. Method: University students (N = 783, 60% female) were recruited by the university’s SONA sampling system to participate in an online Qualtrics survey where they read a message discouraging binge drinking. Results: In line with our predic-tions, structural equation modeling revealed that message fatigue was positively associated with both inattention and reactance (as mediated by freedom threat). In turn, inattention, but not reactance, was negatively associated with perceived message effectiveness. Conclusions: The current findings suggest that there may be deleterious consequences of message fatigue when discouraging binge drinking. The current results also highlight the importance of pilot testing anti–binge drinking messages for message fatigue during formative research to avoid triggering maladaptive outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Psychiatry and Mental health