In addition to conducting specific research studies, the center will focus on four core activities: research, communication and marketing, public health workforce development and administration. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication professor Jeff Springston will direct the research core while Grady's Dean Krugman will co-direct the communication/marketing core with Doryn Chervin from ORC Macro. The public health workforce development core will be led by Don Rubin, Department of Speech Communication, while Freimuth will direct the administrative core.
The center will conduct a pilot study assessing the ways low income individuals respond to multiple health risks, as well as two major research studies addressing two different health issues genetic predispositions to disease and smoking.
The first research study, led by speech communication research professor Celeste Condit, will focus on understanding how people process personalized genetic risk information.
"If you add 'genes' to a list of possible risks for a disease, many low income people see it as something they can't change," said Condit. "We are looking to see how their health behaviors are shaped by such fatalistic attitudes and create messages that motivate these individuals to overcome them and adopt better long term health behaviors."
For the second study, speech communication associate professor Jennifer Monahan and colleagues at the University of Alabama will examine adolescents' attitudes toward smoking.
"Messages people give to adolescents about smoking risks tend to be very rational messages. Kids, however, tend to be more experiential, or more about feeling and doing, than logical in their thinking," she said. The group will use this information to develop anti-smoking media messages that effectively address this adole
Contact: Kim Carlyle
University of Georgia