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Studies in Health Communication

Here are free articles on health communication and related areas.

Online Mediated Sexual Activities and Behaviours Among College Students in Nairobi, Kenya



Simon K. Chege

Lecturer, School of Information,Communication &Tech

nology, ZetechUniversity, Kenya


Esther W. Mwangi

Lecturer, School of Info

rmation, Communication & Technology, Zetech University, Kenya



Participation of young people in online sexual solicitations is a strongly emerging theme in internet and social networking related studies. However, here in Kenya, studies that examine how young people engage in online solicitations that may later transform into offline sexual activities and behaviors are nonexistent. As well, studies that report on how young people participate in social networking sites’ online groups dedicated to sexuality and sexual talk is virtually missing. Descriptive survey method was used to investigate whether college students in Nairobi participate in online solicitations and online social groups dedicated to sexual talk on social networking sites. A sample comprising of 300 college students drawn from a private university college in Nairobi completed a survey questionnaire. The survey assessed participation in online groups dedicated to sex and sexually, online solicitations and offline engagement in sexual activities and behaviors as a result of such solicitations. About 45% of the respondents confirmed to have participated in activities of online groups on Facebook that explicitly portray sexuality, sexual activities and behaviors. It also emerged that students used social networking sites for both online and offline connections and interactions. In fact, respondents confirmed to have attended social events invited through social networking sites where certain sexual activities happened. This study recommends further investigation of the extent to which youth people’s engagement in online solicitations put them at risk of both online and offline sexual abuse and harassment.

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Key Words: online sexual activities and behaviors, social networking, online solicitation, social connections



The Ironic Effect of Covering Health: Conflicting News Stories Contribute to Fatalistic Views Toward Eating Well

Temple Northup

University of Houston


In the United States in particular and globally more broadly, the number of overweight or obese people has increased considerably over the past few decades. This is a serious public health issue and it is important to investigate what role the media may play in this problem. This research examined some of the psychological mechanisms that could explain the previously identified link between media and an unhealthy diet by specifically testing the effects of reading news stories that contain contradictory (or consistent) health information. It was hypothesized that contradictory messages would lead to confusion among participants which in turn would cause them to develop fatalistic views toward eating well—that is, a feeling that they are unable to understand proper nutrition, a variable that has an established relationship with unhealthy food consumption. Results confirm that conflicting health information caused increases in fatalistic views toward eating well in addition to increased general negative effect. Implications from this research are discussed.

Key Words: news media; fatalism; nutrition


Male Participation in Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health Agenda in Africa: Reflections on social change and democracy


Adebayo Fayoyin (PhD)

UNFPA, East and Southern Africa region,

Johannesburg, South Africa. Email:



This paper examines male participation programs designed to improve sexual and reproductive health in Africa. It uses male participation as a model for larger development, democracy and good governance outcomes in African countries. The paper begins by exploring the conceptual and programmatic underpinnings for men engagement, male involvement, male mobilization or male partnership in development. It presents results from a case study on the Male Championship’s initiative implemented to mobilize men in support of the Prevention of Mother-to- Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Malawi. The paper demonstrates that male participation programs integrate a robust approach to social mobilization, coalition building, community advocacy, midstream consultations, peer-to-peer motivation, collective visioning and client communication, which result in changes at the individual, facility and social levels. The paper suggests the design and execution of male participation grounded in human rights based approach to program for wider development agenda and good governance initiatives in Africa.

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Keywords: social mobilization, male engagement, social change, reproductive health, gender equality, social innovation Introduction International development platforms

Journal of Development and Communication Studies

Vol. 3. No. 2, July-December, 2014

Click to access jdcs_3_2_fayoyin.pdf


Health Communication| Dispelling Fears and Myths of Organ Donation: How Narratives Including Information Reduce Ambivalence and Reactance

Freya Sukalla, Anna J. M. Wagner, Isabel Rackow


Combining research in narrative persuasion with the theory of planned behavior, this article investigates the effects of integrating information addressing specific fears and myths about organ donation in narratives on individuals’ reactance, attitudinal ambivalence, and organ donation intentions. The results of a 2 (with vs. without information) × 2 (control factor text) between-subjects online experiment (N = 308) show that embedding relevant information (a) did not impede narrative engagement, (b) successfully reduced attitudinal ambivalence, and (c) ultimately increased organ donation intentions. This article illustrates the theoretical and empirical relevance of ambivalence and reactance as valuable constructs for both researchers and practitioners in health communication.

Keywords: narrative persuasion, reactance, ambivalence, theory of planned behavior, organ donation

International Journal of Communication (Vol.11: 2017)


Health Communication| Engaging Doctors and Depressed Patients: Effects of Referential Viewpoint and Role Similarity in Health Narratives

Kobie van Krieken, José Sanders




This study examines the effects of referential viewpoint and role similarity on readers’ identification with characters in a mental health narrative. Students from the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Arts at a Dutch university read one of two stories about a doctor–patient consultation. In the story version from the patient’s viewpoint, the patient was referred to with pronouns, whereas the doctor was referred to with nouns, and vice versa for the version of the story from the doctor’s viewpoint. Independent of role similarity, participants identified emotionally and cognitively more strongly with the doctor after reading the story written from the doctor’s (versus the patient’s) viewpoint. No effects were found for participants’ identification with the patient. These findings advance our knowledge of the salient features of effective health narratives by showing that subtle linguistic viewpoint markers have the potential to affect readers’ identification with narrative characters.

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Keywords: health narrative, identification, pronouns, role similarity, viewpoint

International Journal of Communication (Vol.11: 2017)



About Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a writer with passion for cutting-edge news

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