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Kang Namkoong

Profile Photo of Kang Namkoong

Associate Professor & Co-Director of Graduate Studies (Enrolled Students), Communication

2126 Skinner Building
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Education

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

Research Expertise

Communication Science
Digital Media
Health Communication

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Namkoong’s research focuses on the interrelationships between emerging media and health communication, with areas of focus including web- and mobile-based eHealth system effects, cancer communications, health promotion, occupational health and safety, and nutrition education. His research program consists of two interrelated lines of inquiry that concern treatment-oriented health interventions and prevention-oriented health campaigns. The former concern the effect of interactive communication technologies on patients’ physical and psychological health benefits. The latter concern the potential of ICTs in addressing health outcome disparities among underserved populations.

Dr. Namkoong has over 20 peer-reviewed articles published in such prestigious journals as Journal of National Cancer Institute Monographs, Cancer, Health Psychology, Journal of Health Communication, and Health Communication.  For his emerging media and health communication research, Dr. Namkoong has secured several extramural grants from government funding agencies, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Current research projects: Dr. Namkoong’s recent work investigates the potential of mobile communication technologies in public health campaigns. He has been involved in a couple of interdisciplinary research/extension projects that address health disparities in underserved populations. With a grant from CDC, for example, he has developed a smartphone-based health communication application to promote an agricultural safety campaign. The mobile app was designed to enhance social interactions among campaign participants and the effectiveness of a combined approach of agricultural education and health communication to address significant public health issues in rural communities.

Graduate Advising Philosophy

Publications

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.

Communication

Lead: Victoria Ledford
Contributor(s): JungKyu Lim, Kang Namkoong, Junhan Chen, Yan Qin
Dates:

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.

A cover from the journal Health Communication

Facebook Ads Manager as a Recruitment Tool for a Health and Safety Survey of Farm Mothers: Pilot Study

A pilot study to explore the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of Facebook advertisements for the recruitment of an online agricultural health and safety survey.

Communication

Lead: Kang Namkoong
Non-ARHU Contributor(s): Richard R. Burke & Bryan P. Weichelt
Dates:

Social media platforms have experienced unprecedented levels of growth and usage over the past decade, with Facebook hosting 2.7 billion active users worldwide, including over 200 million users in the United States. Facebook users have been underutilized and understudied by the academic community as a resource for participant recruitment. We performed a pilot study to explore the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of Facebook advertisements for the recruitment of an online agricultural health and safety survey. We undertook a 1-week advertising campaign utilizing the integrated, targeted advertising platform of Facebook Ads Manager with a target-spending limit of US $294. We created and posted three advertisements depicting varying levels of agricultural safety adoption leading to a brief survey on farm demographics and safety attitudes. We targeted our advertisements toward farm mothers aged 21-50 years in the United States and determined cost-effectiveness and potential biases. No participant incentive was offered. We reached 40,024 users and gathered 318 advertisement clicks. Twenty-nine participants consented to the survey with 24 completions. Including personnel costs, the cost per completed survey was US $17.42. Compared to the distribution of female producers in the United States, our advertisements were unexpectedly overrepresented in the eastern United States and were underrepresented in the western United States. Facebook Ads Manager represents a potentially cost-effective and timely method to recruit participants for online health and safety research when targeting a specific population. However, social media recruitment mirrors traditional recruitment methods in its limitations, exhibiting geographic, response, and self-selection biases that need to be addressed.

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.

Communication

Lead: Yan Qin
Contributor(s): Junhan Chen, Kang Namkoong, Victoria Ledford, JungKyu Lim
Dates:

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.

A Multi-State Evaluation of Secondary Agricultural Education Students’ Performance on Industry-Based Standards

This examination of secondary agricultural education students’ performance was used to determine if students could perform up to industry standards.

Communication

Lead: Kang Namkoong
Non-ARHU Contributor(s): A. Preston-Byrd, S. Vincent, & J. Mazur
Dates:

This examination of secondary agricultural education students’ performance was used to determine if students could perform up to industry standards. In this study, the industry standard were blueprints created by engineers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Students had to fabricate a Cost-effective Roll-Over Protective Structure (CROPS) to be placed on a tractor within their community. All the pieces of the CROPS were inspected by an outside consultant with experience with inspecting projects and visual inspection of welds. It was found that students struggled the most with fabricating the axel brackets. The axel brackets required the most drilled holes and cuts of all the pieces therefore creating more areas where mistakes could be made. Students fabricated the vertical support tubes with the most accuracy. According to the Data-Driven Decision Model (DDDM), teachers analyzed student work, provided feedback, and need to incorporate this new knowledge into their future instruction to increase the accuracy of their students’ fabrication skills. Teacher trainers are recommended to incorporate this performance data into the summer training to better prepare teachers. The inclusion of teaching strategies need to be created for secondary teachers such as peer evaluation of measurements prior to drilling and cutting.

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.).

Communication

Lead: Jiyoun Kim
Contributor(s): Kang Namkoong, Junhan Chen
Dates:
CommStudies

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.