Research Publication Roundup: November 2017

A vibrant and collaborative interdisciplinary research culture at the UNC School of Media and Journalism creates new knowledge, advances scholarship and helps reinvent media. Below is a list of recently published or presented scholarship by MJ-school faculty and students.


Viera, A. J., Tuttle, L., Olsson, E., Gras-Najjar, J., Gizlice, Z., Hales, D., Linnan, L., Lin, F. C., Noar, S. M., & Ammerman, A. (2017). Effects of physical activity calorie expenditure (PACE) labeling: Study design and baseline sample characteristics. BMC Public Health, 17, 702. 
In this study, the researchers tested the effect of physical activity calorie expenditure (PACE) food labels on food purchasing behavior as well as physical activity. Labels that convey information in a more readily understandable manner may be more effective at motivating behavior change. The results of this project will provide evidence of the effectiveness of worksite cafeteria menu labeling, which could potentially inform future policy intervention approaches.

Kelley, D. E., Lewis, M. A., & Southwell, B. G. (2017). Perceived support from a caregiver's social ties predicts subsequent care-recipient health. Preventive Medicine Reports, 8(Supplement C), 108-111. 
Using structural equation modeling through two time points, the researchers sought to identify how caregivers' perceived organizational and interpersonal support from their social support network influences care-recipient health. Most notably, caregivers' perceived social support is associated with caregiver confidence to provide care, and is associated with care-recipient health outcomes. Additionally, social engagement with members from caregivers' social support networks was positively associated with caregiver confidence, and social engagement and confidence were positively associated with care-recipient health at time 1. Use of organizational support negatively predicted care-recipient health at time 2. Overall, care-recipients experience better health outcomes when caregivers are able to be more engaged with members of their social support network.

Saffer, A. J., Yang, A., & Taylor, M. Reconsidering power in multistakeholder relationship management. Management Communication Quarterly, 0(0), 0893318917700510. 
Using a communication-centered conceptualization of power, this study finds that potential sources of power subtly manifest through communication and interaction patterns in multistakeholder issue networks. Results indicate that organizations’ institutional status and resources are significant predictors of network power.

Kreiss, D. Saffer, A. J. (2017), Networks and innovation in the production of communication: Explaining innovations in U.S. electoral campaigning from 2004 to 2012. Journal of Communication, 67: 521–544. 
This paper outlines a network analytic framework for analyzing the production of communication. This framework states that individuals—in part the products of the history of their social and professional ties—merge from various fields and a medley of prior production experiences within organizations to produce communicative innovations. Organizations with individuals who have diverse backgrounds and significant overlap in work experiences will be more innovative. Using a network analysis of the professional biographies of 629 staffers on U.S. presidential campaigns from 2004-12, the paper explains that democratic staffers come from more diverse organizations and share significant overlap in prior experiences than their Republican counterparts.

McKeever, R., McKeever, B. W., & Li, J.-Y. (2016). Speaking up online: Exploring hostile media perception, health behavior, and other antecedents of communication. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 94(3), 812-832. 
This study explores the influence of hostile media perception and other predictors to mothers’ willingness to speak up regarding the issue of breastfeeding, particularly in online environments. Through an online survey of mothers, the study finds that mothers are more likely to express opinions about breastfeeding online, and also with friends and family, if they consider media coverage of the issue biased or hostile.

Lee, S. Y., & Rim, H. (2017). Company–nonprofit partnerships, negative spillover, and response strategies. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 11(3), 194-208. 
This study utilizes an online experiment to explore whether, in the context of a company–nonprofit partnership, there are negative spillover effects when a crisis strikes a partner organization and what effective response strategies to such a crisis would be for the principal organization. The results show the existence of negative spillover effects; when respondents were exposed to crisis information about a partner organization, and their attitude toward the principal organization became less favorable. Regardless of the partnership’s duration, announcing a decision about the partnership—either ending the partnership or continuing the partnership—was not effective in restoring the principal organization’s image.

Luecking, C. T., Hennink-Kaminski, H.Ihekweazu, C., Vaughn, A., Mazzucca, S., and Ward, D. S. (2017) Social marketing approaches to nutrition and physical activity interventions in early care and education centres: A systematic review. Obesity Reviews, doi: 10.1111/obr.12596.
Because social marketing’s influence on nutrition and physical activity interventions in the early care and education setting remains unknown, this study uses a systematic review to identify interventions targeting nutrition and/or physical activity behaviors of children enrolled in early care centers. In total, the review included 135 articles representing 77 interventions between 1994 and 2016. The authors did not find statistical significance for the effectiveness of interventions on child-level diet, physical activity or anthropometric outcomes based on the number of benchmark criteria used. Overall, this review highlights opportunities to apply social marketing to obesity prevention interventions in early care centers.

Francis, D. B., Hall, M. G., Noar, S. M., Ribisl, K. M., & Brewer, N. T. (2017). Systematic review of measures used in pictorial cigarette pack warning experiments. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 19(10), 1127-1137. 
This systematic review describes characteristics and psychometric properties of measures used in pictorial cigarette pack warning experiments. The review identified 68 pictorial cigarette pack warning experiments conducted between 2000 and 2016 in 22 countries. The authors identified 278 measures representing 61 constructs. The most commonly assessed construct categories were warning reactions (62% of studies) and perceived effectiveness (60%). The most commonly used outcomes were affective reactions (35%), perceived likelihood of harm (22%), intention to quit smoking (22%), perceptions that warnings motivate people to quit smoking (18%), and credibility (16%).

Ekstrand, V. S. (2017). Democratic governance, self-fulfillment and disability: Web accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the First Amendment. Communication Law & Policy, 22(4), 427-457. 
This article examines both the case law surrounding the omission of the Internet in the Americans with Disabilities Act and delays by the executive and legislative branches in extending the ADA to the Internet. It argues that making the Internet a “place of public accommodation” under the ADA is supported by First Amendment principles of democratic governance and self-fulfillment.