Junhan Chen is currently a doctoral student in UMD with a focus on health communication and science communication. She is interested in social network analysis, social media and selective exposure. Prior to her study in UMD, she earned her M.A. in communication from UW-Madison and her B.A. in journalism from Peking University in China.
The Influence of Stigmatizing Messages on Danger Appraisal: Examining the Model of Stigma Communication for Opioid-Related Stigma, Policy Support, and Related Outcomes
This study used the model of stigma communication in two online factorial experiments.
Drug overdose is a leading cause of injury and death in the United States, and opioids are among the most significant of causes. For people with opioid use disorders (OUDs), opioid stigma can lead to devastating consequences, including anxiety and depression. Still, mass media may stigmatize people with OUDs by ascribing stigmatizing labels (e.g., “opioid addict”) and other stigma features to those individuals. However, it is unclear how these stigmatizing messages influence public perceptions of people with OUDs and public support for rehabilitation and Naloxone administration policies. The model of stigma communication (MSC) provides a framework for understanding these relationships. This study used the MSC in two online factorial experiments, the first among college undergraduates (N = 231) and the second among Amazon Mechanical Turk workers (N = 245), to examine how stigmatizing messages about people with OUDs influence stigma-related outcomes. Results reveal that opioid stigma messages influence different outcomes depending on the content of those messages. Classification messages with a stigmatizing mark (e.g., “Alex appears unkempt”) and label (e.g., “opioid addict”) led to greater perceptions of dangerousness and threat in both studies. High stigma classification messages also led to an increased desire for behavioral regulation and social distance in Study 2. Structural equation modeling in Study 1 also supported the applicability of the MSC in the opioid context. Implications for health communication theory development and practice are discussed.
Increasing Perceived Risk of Opioid Misuse: The Effects of Concrete Language and Image
Using a factorial online experiment, this study found that messages using concrete language made people think more concretely about the negative consequences of opioid misuse.
Risk perception is a critical determinant for individuals’ health behavior change, especially for behaviors with distal future consequences. Building on construal-level theory, this study investigates if and how thinking concretely about the negative consequences of opioid misuse influences people’s risk perception toward opioid misuse. Two message cues – images and concrete (vs. abstract) language – are proposed to influence concrete thinking and perceived temporal distance, which in turn influence risk perception directly and through negative affect. Using a factorial online experiment with Amazon Mechanical Turk workers (N = 220), this study found that messages using concrete language made people think more concretely about the negative consequences of opioid misuse. Perceived concreteness, in turn, increased risk perception and negative affect. Negative affect also increased risk perception. The use of images decreased perceived temporal distance, which in turn, changed risk perception through its influence on negative affect. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Predictors of Online News-Sharing Intention in the U.S and South Korea: An Application of the Theory of Reasoned Action
This study demonstrates what motivates media users to participate in the process of sharing online news in two cultures: South Korea and the United States (U.S.).
In its use of interactive media technology, the public takes on an important role in disseminating news, especially when sharing it through social networking sites. This study demonstrates what motivates media users to participate in the process of sharing online news in two cultures: South Korea and the United States (U.S.). Employing the theory of reasoned action, this study empirically displays how the intention to share online news is influenced by attitudes and subjective norms. Particularly, this study measures both attitudes toward and subjective norms about (1) the specific news article and (2) social media participation. Our findings reveal more substantial effects that attitudes have on behavioral intention than subjective norms in the U.S. group. The discussion highlights the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.