Communicating the risks of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Effects of message framing and exemplification

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47 Scopus citations


Health messages can be either informative or descriptive, and can emphasize either potential losses or gains. This study, guided by message framing theory and exemplification theory, specifically investigated the combined effects of messages with loss-gain frames mixed with statistics or exemplar appeals. The findings revealed a series of main effects and interactions for loss-gain frames and statistics-exemplar appeals on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) prevention intention, intention to know more, perceived severity, perceived fear, perceived external efficacy, and perceived internal efficacy. The gain-statistics appeal showed an advantage in promoting perceived efficacy toward FASD, while the loss-exemplar appeal revealed an advantage in increasing prevention intention, perceived severity, and perceived fear toward FASD. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-699
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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