Segmenting by Risk Perceptions: Predicting Young Adults' Genetic-Belief Profiles with Health and Opinion-Leader Covariates

Rachel A. Smith, Marisa Greenberg, Roxanne L. Parrott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


With a growing interest in using genetic information to motivate young adults' health behaviors, audience segmentation is needed for effective campaign design. Using latent class analysis, this study identifies segments based on young adults' (N = 327) beliefs about genetic threats to their health and personal efficacy over genetic influences on their health. A four-class model was identified. The model indicators fit the risk perception attitude framework (Rimal & Real, 2003), but the covariates (e.g., current health behaviors) did not. In addition, opinion leader qualities covaried with one profile: Those in this profile engaged in fewer preventative behaviors and more dangerous treatment options, and also liked to persuade others, making them a particularly salient group for campaign efforts. The implications for adult-onset disorders, like alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-493
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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