247821 Perceptions and effects of a brief media literacy intervention targeting adolescent alcohol use: Differences by gender and sensation seeking tendency

Monday, October 31, 2011

Elvira Elek, PhD , Public Health Policy Research, RTI International, Washington, DC
Kathryn Greene, PhD , School of Communication and Information, Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ
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 have been identified as promising approaches to address adolescent alcohol use, but existing interventions take too much classroom time and have not been evaluated rigorously or to assess mechanisms of change. In addition, evaluations have not examined the moderating effects of gender and sensation seeking on different modes of teaching these interventions, namely whether the lessons focus on message analysis activities or message planning/production activities. This study assesses gender and sensation seeking influences on perceptions and effects of a pilot test of two versions of the brief Youth Message Development curriculum.

Methods: One hundred forty nine 10th grade high school students (age 14-16) from across Pennsylvania (representing rural, suburban, and urban school districts) participated in testing the 75 minute curriculum. Half of the students participated in a poster planning session while half engaged in a control activity (analysis only). The first half of both conditions was identical. The analyses consisted of regressions using gender, curriculum version, and the gender X curriculum version interaction. Curriculum perceptions focused on involvement, novelty, learning, reflection, and ratings of program components. Examined effects included positive alcohol expectancies, norms (perceived peer use) and alcohol use intentions.

Results and Discussion: Both gender and sensation seeking interacted with the curriculum version to influence perceptions of the curriculum and related outcomes. The developers of the Youth Message Development curriculum are taking these moderating effects into account in revising the curriculum prior to a planned feasibility pre/post-test evaluation during spring of 2011

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 how gender influences perceptions and preliminary effects of a brief media literacy intervention on adolescent alcohol use. Discuss how sensation seeking tendencies influence perceptions and preliminary effects of a brief media literacy intervention on adolescent substance use. Explain how gender and sensation seeking should be considered when developing and modifying media literacy interventions.

Keywords: Prevention, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 12 years of experience as an evaluator of substance use prevention interventions.
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.