Evaluating Health Communication Effectiveness: Truth-Telling and the Measurement of Adolescents' Sexual Activity

John F. Tanner, Baylor University
Research regarding health campaign effectiveness relies on self-reports that are likely to be subject to impression management. Using self-evaluation maintenance and impression management theory, two strategies to manage impressions are discussed: identity hiding and lying. Results from three studies involving campaigns promoting sexual abstinence among teens indicate: hiders have higher intentions to engage in sex but there is no demand artifact created by the campaign; lying is manifested as exaggerating or minimizing activity; and minimizing is increased by exposure to the campaign while exaggerating is not. Strategies for accounting for impression management are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
John F. Tanner (2008) ,"Evaluating Health Communication Effectiveness: Truth-Telling and the Measurement of Adolescents' Sexual Activity", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 117-121.