purpose of this study was to analyze Department of Defense radio public service
announcements (PSAs) on health-related topics to determine how health
communicators had responded to the challenge of developing messages on sensitive
health issues for mass audiences.
Specifically, this paper reports the findings of a content analysis of
189 radio PSAs, focusing on the severity, susceptibility, efficacy, and
self-efficacy components of the fear messages.
Results indicate 68 percent of military radio PSAs use fear when
attempting to persuade listeners to adopt new health and safety practices.
Additional results indicate that 62 percent of these health messages
employing fear appeals address the key elements Witte
(1992) suggests should be present in a fear appeal.
Further research is necessary to determine the effectiveness of military
health promotion campaigns.
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