246167 Developing a brief media literacy intervention targeting adolescent alcohol use: The impact of formative research

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kathryn Greene, PhD , School of Communication and Information, Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ
Elvira Elek, PhD , Public Health Policy Research, RTI International, Washington, DC
Kate Magsamen-Conrad, MA , Department of Communication, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Smita Banerjee, PhD , Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Michael Hecht, PhD , Communication Arts and Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Itzhak Yanovitzky, PhD , School of Communications and Information, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ
Introduction: Media literacy-based interventions provide promise in preventing adolescent substance abuse, but identified gaps show they tend to take excessive curriculum time, have not been evaluated rigorously, when evaluated have not measured mechanisms of change, and have not evaluated optimal modes of teaching (i.e. production versus analysis). This presentation describes formative research which begins addressing these gaps in the context of a feasibility test of a brief media literacy intervention to prevent alcohol use.

Methods: Four steps were involved in formative research: 1) 149 tenth grade high school students in Pennsylvania participated in pilot testing the draft curriculum comparing a poster planning/production session with an analysis only control activity (adult mentors also provided feedback); 2) 6 mentors participated in follow-up in-depth interviews; 3) 20 adolescents completed interviews focused on curriculum wording changes, advertisements utilized, and refinements to measures; 4) 16 students and 8 teachers participated in focus groups to refine the curriculum.

Results: Pilot feedback indicated a need to provide more balance in the presentation of pro- and anti-alcohol ads, revise the timing of the lesson, and modify some of the language used. Interactions with the teachers identified changes to activity sheets (to encourage use), curriculum timing and content, and how to best integrate the curriculum within the classroom setting. The student interviews provided a test of new measures assessing some of the proposed mechanisms of change, including "self-efficacy to counter-argue", "advertising skepticism", and "ad analysis skill". Finally, the focus group student participants helped clarify curriculum and study procedures.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the gaps in research on media literacy interventions. Identify how formative research can begin addressing those gaps. Discuss how formative research results can help improve substance abuse prevention interventions.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI on the project described in the research and an expert in the area of media literacy programs and substance abuse prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.