Lee Dorf – Communication Theory – Unit 2
Hye-Jin Paek, B. H. (2011). Roles of interpersonal and media socialization agents in adolescent self-reported health literacy: a health socialization perspective. Health Education Research , 26 (1), 131-149.
The program was implemented by faculty from the Departments of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing, at Michigan State University and University of Georgia.
The survey was conducted among seventh-grade students in three rural and urban public school districts in Georgia: Clayton (urban), Worth (rural) and Sylvester (rural). This was an IRB approved study, that required obtained parental consent prior to enrolling the adolescent subject in the study.
The purpose of this study was to examine the social aspect of health literacy education, particularly in the ...view middle of the document...
The study was designed to collect data through a self-reported survey asking questions about the subjects’ perceived health and access to health information, as well as rate their exposure to media.
The authors analyzed this data to look at the effects of interpersonal health socialization agents and media health socialization agents separately to see if one was more effective than the other. While each showed a statistically significant positive affect on adolescent health literacy, they were not statistically different from one another suggesting they are both equally effective methods of promoting health literacy in this target population. Upon analysis the investigators looked for demographic and socioeconomic disparities that could explain the knowledge gap between various subgroups within the study cohort. For example, they found that females and subjects in better health were more likely to have higher health literacy than males and less healthier subjects. They also found that subjects whose interpersonal relationships exposed them to drinking and smoking showed lower levels of health literacy.
Overall I think the study was successful in determining health literacy rates amongst adolescents in their study population. They list several limitation to their study both duty to sample size and style of data collection. If this information was able to be collected more rigorously without a convenience sample of data, then it may prove to have stronger correlations. The trends are definitely present in this data set. The author do not present a program to improve health literacy in adolescents. Although they are able to show that both interpersonal socialization and media can have positive effects on health literacy, they do not proposed a way to increase either of them in the lives of these impressionable adolescents that may need to increase their health literacy. Therefore, I would say they sufficiently present the problem, but the next step is to target the groups with lower levels of literacy and work to improve them.