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Media Messages and Public Health A Decisions Approach to Content Analysis

Media MessagesMedia Messages and Public Health addresses the full range of methodological and conceptual issues involved in content analysis research, specifically focused on public health-related messages and behaviors. Uniquely tailored to the challenges faced by content researchers interested in the study of public health topics, coverage includes:

  • Conceptual and methodological foundations involved in the practice of content analysis research used to examine public health issues.
  • Measurement challenges posed by the broad range of media.
  • Use of content analysis across multiple media types.
  • The potential for individual differences in audience interpretation of message content.
  • Case studies that examine public health issues in the media to illustration the decisions that are made when developing content analysis studies.

The volume concludes with a set of guidelines for optimal content analysis research, and suggests ways in which the field can accommodate new technologies and new ways of using media. Developed for researchers in communication, media, and public health, this unique resource demonstrates how the variety of decisions researchers make along the way allows the exploration of traditions, assumptions and implications for each varying alternative and ultimately advances the science of content analysis research.


  • Amy B. Jordan (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is the director of the Media and the Developing Child research area of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies children’s media policy.
  • Dale Kunkel (Ph.D., Annenberg School, University of Southern California) is Professor of Communication at the University of Arizona, where he studies children and media issues from diverse perspectives.
  • Jennifer Manganello (M.P.H., Boston University; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Public Health) is Assistant Professor of Health Policy, Management, and Behavior at the University at Albany. Her research interests include children's health and media effects on policy and health behavior.
  • Martin Fishbein (Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles) is the Harry C. Coles Jr. Distinguished Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include communication and persuasion.