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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134866 Find in a Library
Title: Use of Mass Media in Substance Abuse Prevention
Journal: Health Affairs  Volume:9  Dated:(Summer 1990)  Pages:30-46
Author(s): W DeJong; J A Winsten
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 17
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document explores the use of mass media in substance abuse prevention among youth.
Abstract: Public Health advocates still have much to learn from the successes of the commercial sector in harnessing the power of the mass media to convince people to change behavior. The following recommendations for the design and implementation of future media campaigns to prevent substance abuse are based on a newly completed, 2-year study of previous mass media campaigns and innovative practices in advertising, marketing, and public relations. A key step in developing a new campaign is the use of qualitative research to identify and analyze various subgroups defined by demographic, psychological, or problem-relevant characteristics that could be targeted by the campaign. Mass media campaigns should address the existing knowledge and beliefs of the target audience that impede adoption of the desired behavior and communicate incentives or benefits for adopting the desired behavior that build on the existing motives, needs, and values of the target group. The target audience's attention should be drawn to immediate, high-probability consequences of behavior. To evaluate local or regional campaigns, the best research design is a "quasi-experimental" design in which health-related outcomes in treatment communities exposed to the campaign are compared to those in similar control communities. 32 notes
Main Term(s): Drug prevention programs; Media coverage
Index Term(s): Drug abuse education; Public education
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