University of Southern Mississippi
Dr. Kathryn Anthony is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the School of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is also a Nina Bell Suggs endowed assistant professor at Southern Miss. Dr. Anthony’s research interests revolve around interpersonal health, risk communication, and behavior change message design. She has published in several national, peer-reviewed publications, including Health Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, and Journal of Public Relations Research.
“Employing the EPPM to prevent the spread of the Zika virus”
The following study employs the Extended Parallel Processing Model and Theory of Planned Behavior to understand how to create health messages with the greatest influence on individuals’ behavioral intent to adopt mosquito-borne virus protection behaviors. The study employs a 2 (susceptibility) x 2 (self-efficacy) factorial design, evenly distributing the participants between four messages (N=186). The findings highlight the significance of perceived susceptibility on one’s intent to adopt protective behaviors. The results exemplify the importance of the theoretical critical point of the EPPM, where danger control shifts to fear control, and the importance of balance between perceived susceptibility and efficacy. Other determining factors of behavioral intention included descriptive and injunctive norms, or the perceptions of others’ beliefs and behaviors toward a recommended health behavior. Conclusions from the current study aid in further understanding how to create influential and