Health communication strategies to decrease teen pregnancies include the employment of entertainment-education (E-E), which involves embedding health messages in an entertainment media vehicle that is relatable and attractive to the intended audience. MTV’s 16 and Pregnant is an example of such an effort as an E-E documentary-style reality show that aimed to reduce the U.S. teen pregnancy rate. A pretest–posttest experiment was conducted with 147 adolescent girls (ages 14–18) to investigate the effectiveness of 16 and Pregnant on beliefs, attitudes, and intentions to avoid teen pregnancy. Among participants who reported the lowest levels of identification, parasocial relationship, and homophily, viewing 16 and Pregnant resulted in more negative attitudes toward teen pregnancy. Among participants who reported the highest level of homophily, viewing 16 and Pregnant resulted in more positive attitudes toward teen pregnancy. Levels of pregnancy risk and health literacy were examined but were not significant moderators. Results are discussed in light of E-E theory and research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)