Role of Media in addictive behaviour continued...
THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN CHANGING ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOURS
Television and internet have been identified as media that potentially could be used to provide a form of intervention, as treatment of addiction is usually hampered by many different factors.
- Television support for problem-drinking: television series Psst..the really useful guide to alcohol (six 30 minute instalments), was evaluated by Bennet et al. Viewers of the programme were compared with matched controls who did not watch the series. Results did show improvement in alcohol-related knowledge, did not show change in attitude or actual alcohol consumption.
- Study in Netherlands by Kramer et al assessed the effectiveness of Drinking less? Do it yourself!, a five-week self help intervention to reduce problem drinking. Found intervention group was more successful than control group in achieving low risk, difference maintained at 3-month follow up.
- Anti-drug campaigns: 2008 a television and internet campaign was launched in the UK to warn teenagers of dangers of cocaine use. Ads featured dog named Pablo, who was used by drug dealer to carry cocaine.Evidence about effectiveness is far from conclusive.
- Between 1998 and 2004 the US Congress invested nearly $1 billion in the US National Youth Anti-drug Media Campaign. Had three goals:
- convince occasional users to stop
Hornik et al examined effects of this campaign, claiming not only did it fail to accomplish its goals but may have also led to delayed unfavourable effects, particularly in terms of marijuana use.
- Methological problems with Kramer et al: two main problems-->
- Intervention group received weekly visits from the researcher so extra attention may well have worked in favour of positive outcome.
- the waiting list group was aware it would receive treatment soon, so may well have postponed its behavioural change, thereby artificially inflating the magnitude between the two groups.
- Why didn't US campaigns work?: Hornik et al suggested two main reasons:
- so many drug messages to which youths in the US are exposed.
- They contain explicit message that drug use is common place.
Johnston et al found youths who saw campaign ads took from it that their peers were using marijuana and then they were more likely to take marijuana themselves.
- Correlation is not the same as causality. Most research evidence is correlational, however this does not indicate a causal relationship.
- Ethical guides for drug representation: in the US, the Office for Substance Abuse Protection (OSAP) has developed guideline materials about drugs for film and television writers. Reccomend that all illegal drug use is 'harmful and unhealthy for all persons', that addiction should be presented as a disease.
- Creativity and ddiction: Analysis by Belli. Brian Wilson creative genius behind the beach boys (1960's group).
Models of Prevention
Key to changing behaviours is to understand what factors contribute to a persons intention to change an unhealthy behaviour, and then how that intention might be transformed into an actual behaviour.
THEORY OF REASONED ACTION:
- Developed by Azjen and Fishbein, it attempts to explain the relationship between our attitude to things and our behaviours.
- It is concerned with our decision to engage in that particular behaviour.
- According to this theory, an individuals decision to engage in that behaviour can be directly predicted by their intention to engage in that behaviour.
ATTITUDE ----> SUBJECTIVE NORM-------> INTENTION ---> BEHAVIOUR
- Safe sex--> TRA has been applied in a study of safe sex behaviour as a response to the threat of contracting HIV. Target behaviours included monogamous relationships, non-penetrative sex and the use of condoms (Terry et al). Found that the link between intention and behaviour was problematic for some as they could not control the behaviour and wishes of the other person.
- Gambling--> TRA holds that behaviour is rational, and that gambling activities can be explained in terms of gambling attitudes and subjective norms. Moore an Ohtsuka- in sample of adolescents and adults found that TRA predicted gambling frequency and problem gambling.
Evaluation of TRA
- Problems determining intention: in studies of TRA attitudes and intentions assessed by questionnaires may, according to Albarracin et al , turn out to be poor representations of attitudes and intentions that exist in the behavioural situation. e.g. may intend to give up smoking, but when in a group of smokers their behaviour may not reflect intention.
- Intention and Expectation: Been argued a distinction should be made between intention (person's plans) and expectation (perceived likelihood of performing a particular behaviour.)-Warshaw and Davis.
- Armitage and Conner- intention may have a causal effect on behaviour, a behavioural expectation is less likely to do so.
- Influence of alcohol and drugs: Attitudes and intentions tend to be measured when sober, whereas risky behaviours may be performed under the influence of alcohol or drugs. MacDonald et al- found alcohol intoxication actually increased measured intention to engage in unprotected sex and other risky behaviours.
THEORY OF PLANNED BEHAVIOUR
- Adds the idea of control to the TRA.
- Azjen extended TRA to include perceived behavioural control.
- adds to intention e.g. it's my decision, I am completely in charge of my actions. 1. the more control people believe themselves to have, the stronger their intention to perform that actual behaviour will be. 2. individual with higher perceived control is likely to try harder and persevere for longer.
- intention to change unhealthy behaviour: Rise et al found that affective attitude and descriptive norm (what others are actually doing) played a more crucial role than other aspects of the TPB in predicting whether smokers would actually quit.
- When is perceived control important?: takes on more important role when issues of control are associated with the performance of a task e.g. when losing weight (Netemeyer et al).
- Support: Meta-analysis by Armitage and Conner found perceived behavioural control added an extra 6% variance in intention compared to the assessment of attitude and subjective norm alone. Represents improvement.
- Too rational: Both fail to take into account emotions, compulsions or other irratinoal determinants of human behaviour.