211593 Emerging theories and models on communicating with children

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:30 AM

David B. Buller, PhD , Klein Buendel, Golden, CO
Communicating with children is essential to promote lifelong preventive behaviors to help reduce the risk of chronic disease. Creating effective health communication requires understanding how children learn and process messages, the influence of their social circumstances, and their preferences for communication channels. A series of research projects aimed at motivating sun safety, reducing smoking, and improving nutrition provided insight into these important aspects of communication with children. Social cognitive theory, particularly its emphasis on creating positive outcome expectations and improving skills knowledge and self-efficacy, was useful for designing health communication for children. Interventions improving these psychological states produced improved prevention behavior. It was also useful to contextualize communication within the lived experiences of children, acknowledging for example that their current risk behaviors (e.g., experimenting with cigarettes) when communicating about outcome expectations (e.g., recalling unpleasant reactions to first cigarette use). Social network models also have implications for communicating with children. Family relations and communication can be instrumental in achieving intervention outcomes, e.g., engaging children and parents in a sun safety program improved children's sun protection. Network approaches may be highly relevant when considering social media (e.g., Facebook, blogging, video sharing, text messaging, etc.) and its high popularity among adolescents. The ability to communicate shared reactions to health content (e.g., ratings of social marketing videos made by other children) can create mutual attitudes toward this content. Social network influences and explanations for the power of interactivity may explain the fragmentation of children's media choices and the influence of health media on them.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Identify theoretical models that predict effective health communication with children; 2. Discuss the interplay of message processing, social circumstances, and channel preferences in effective health communication with children.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Performed extensive research on health communication for disease prevention with children for two decades; published over 120 articles and book chapters on communication and health communication.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Klein Buendel, Inc n/a spouse of owner

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.