THE EFFECT OF MESSAGE FRAMING ON COLLEGE WOMENS' FOLIC ACID INTAKE ATTITUDES, INVENTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the immediate and latent effect of message framing, or wording manipulation, on women's folic acid intake (FAI) knowledge, attitudes, and intentions. METHODS: 237 women enrolled in undergraduate psychology courses were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: gain-framed pamphlet, loss-framed pamphlet, or no pamphlet. In the initial experimental session, subjects' FAI behavior, knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and health risk perceptions were assessed using a questionnaire. One month later, the same questionnaire was e-mailed to all the subjects. Data from subjects who completed both phases of the study were analyzed. RESULTS: Message framing had no immediate effect on FAI knowledge, attitudes, intentions, or health risk perceptions (p>0.05). However, over the period of one month, loss-framed pamphlets were more effective in promoting FAI behavior compared to gain-framed and no pamphlet conditions (p=0.0007). Over one month, FAI intentions decreased in the gain-framed pamphlet condition (p=0.004). A pamphlet intervention, regardless of message framing, led to an immediate increase in FAI knowledge scores by 21-22% and improved attitudes. However, after a month, any gain in knowledge disappeared and attitude scores decreased. CONCLUSIONS: Loss-framed pamphlets are more effective in promoting FAI among college women. FAI promotion strategies that depend on gain-framed messages may not be optimal. Although a pamphlet intervention was able to improve FAI knowledge and attitudes, it had no effect on FAI intentions or behavior. This suggests that improving women's FAI knowledge and attitudes alone is not sufficient to change women's FAI intentions and behavior. In future research, the effect of message framing should be studied in different populations of women, e.g. women in different age range or women who have not attended college.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:multivitamin intake brochure folate pamphlet educational intervention
Date of Publication:01/01/2002