Seeking Inspiration through Health Testimonials: Improving Mothers’ Self-Efficacy, Outcome Expectations, and Behavior in Handling Children’s Sleep Behavior

Melissa J. Robinson, Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Individuals often seek health information in the form of online personal testimonials from others facing similar medical issues rather than only relying on medical experts’ advice. However, little is known about related motivations and the effects of these health testimonials on individuals’ health-related outcomes. The current study investigated the influence of individuals’ self-concepts on health testimonial selections to test predictions derived from the SESAM model. Mothers (N = 148) selected two health testimonials, featuring different preschooler sleep training methods. Mothers’ self-concepts (i.e., parenting style) predicted selection of testimonials with the same parenting style. Reading testimonials that aligned with one’s own self-concept improved self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and behavior regarding sleep training through self-improvement social comparison, with impacts still detectable after one week.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1455-1465
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Communication
Volume35
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 14 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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