Publications by authors named "Maria Knight Lapinski"

15 Publications

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Predicting Breastfeeding Intentions: A Test and Extension of the Theory of Normative Social Behavior with African American Social Identity.

Health Commun 2021 Jun 9:1-13. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

College of Education, Wayne State University.

Breastfeeding is a health promoting social behavior but statistics suggest a persistent disparity of lower rates among African American mothers. The Theory of Normative Social Behavior (TNSB) explains when and how norms influence behaviors, but has produced inconsistent results with respect to proposed moderators group identity and injunctive norms (IN), limiting its predictive value in diverse cultural groups. Cultural norms are one of many influences on breastfeeding behaviors, yet little is known about their mechanisms of influence. The TNSB has not been tested in the breastfeeding context or within an exclusively African American cultural group. Given this knowledge gap, a survey of 528 African American mothers in the Washington, D.C. area was conducted to test the moderating effects of IN and subjective norms (SN) and social identity on the descriptive norms (DN) to intentions relationship as predicted by the TNSB. Structural equation modeling was used to show that when controlling for education and breastfeeding history, norms significantly predicted 26.4% of the variance in breastfeeding intentions. SN and DN interacted negatively to enhance breastfeeding intentions. Latent profile analysis using ethnic pride, collectivism, and religiosity scales detected four profiles of African American social identity. Social identity profile membership was a significant moderator on the DN to intentions pathway in the structural equation model. Profiles with the highest ethnic pride were significantly influenced by DN to intend to breastfeed. Implications from this study for public health intervention and communication messaging are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2021.1936750DOI Listing
June 2021

Breastfeeding in Context: African American Women's Normative Referents, Salient Identities, and Perceived Social Norms.

Health Educ Behav 2021 Aug 24;48(4):496-506. Epub 2021 May 24.

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.

The purpose of this study was to describe social norms and salient social identities related to breastfeeding intentions among African American mothers in Washington, D.C. Five focus groups were held with 30 mothers who gave birth to a child between 2016 and 2019. Two coders conducted pragmatic thematic analysis. This study demonstrated that women hold different identities relevant to making infant feeding decisions, with mother being primary and race/ethnicity, age, and relationship status factoring into how they define themselves. Mothers drew their perceptions of what is common and accepted from family, friends, the "Black community," and what they perceived visually in their geographic area and heard from their health care providers. Mothers believed breastfeeding to be increasing in popularity and acceptability in African American communities in Washington, D.C., but not yet the most common or accepted mode of feeding, with some variability by socioeconomic status group. Implications for public health communication and social marketing are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/10901981211014445DOI Listing
August 2021

Racism and Resistance: A Qualitative Study of Bias As a Barrier to Breastfeeding.

Breastfeed Med 2021 Jun 30;16(6):471-480. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Communication and Michigan AgBio Research, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.

Nearly 75% of Black non-Hispanic babies born in 2016 ever breastfed. However, Black mothers still experience barriers to breastfeeding, perpetuating disparities in exclusivity and duration. Using data collected from five focus groups with Black mothers ( = 30) in Washington, District of Columbia during summer 2019, we critically examine the influence of institutionalized and personally mediated racism on breastfeeding. We also explore the counter-narratives Black women use to resist oppression and deal with these barriers. Themes surrounding institutionalized racism included historic exploitation, institutions pushing formula, and lack of economic and employment supports. Themes regarding how personally mediated racism manifested included health care interactions and shaming/stigma while feeding in public. At each level examined, themes of resistance were also identified. Themes of resistance to institutionalized racism were economic empowerment and institutions protecting breastfeeding. Themes of resistance to personally mediated biases were rejecting health provider bias and building community. There are opportunities for health providers and systems to break down barriers to breastfeeding for Black women. These include changes in clinical training and practice as well as clinicians leveraging their position and lending their voices in advocacy efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2020.0307DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8215417PMC
June 2021

Speaking of Values: Value-Expressive Communication and Exercise Intentions.

Health Commun 2021 Feb 16:1-10. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Psychology Department, University of Konstanz.

This study introduces the concept of value-expressive communication and examines its relationship with behavioral intent. Value-expressive communication is conceptualized as the verbal output of a value-expressive attitude. Value-expressive communication about exercise is examined in relationship to strength of religious faith, exercise attitudes, communication frequency, and intentions to exercise among a sample of self-identified Christians. The data indicate a significant interaction between value-expressive communication and communication frequency explains significant variance in exercise intentions. Interact to and exercise attitudes is significantly associated with intentions to exercise. Suggestions for using value-expressive communication in health communication research and practice are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2021.1886398DOI Listing
February 2021

Extending the Theory of Normative Social Behavior to Predict Hand-Washing among Koreans.

Health Commun 2019 09 10;34(10):1120-1129. Epub 2018 Apr 10.

b Department of Communication and Michigan AgBio Research, Michigan State University , East Lansing , MI , USA.

The current study tests the predictions of the theory of normative social behavior (TNSB) in a hand-washing context in a Korean sample and extends the theory to examine the role of , a variable believed to activate face concerns, as a moderator of the norm-behavior relationship. The findings show substantial main effects for all of the study variables on behavior. In addition, the descriptive norm-behavior relationship is moderated by perceived publicness and outcome expectations, but the nature of the interactions is not consistent with that evidenced in previous literature on US samples. Implications for normative theory and communication campaigns are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2018.1461586DOI Listing
September 2019

Recommendations for the role of social science research in One Health.

Soc Sci Med 2015 Mar 28;129:51-60. Epub 2014 Sep 28.

Department of Communication, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, United States.

The social environment has changed rapidly as technology has facilitated communication among individuals and groups in ways not imagined 20 years ago. Communication technology increasingly plays a role in decision-making about health and environmental behaviors and is being leveraged to influence that process. But at its root is the fundamental need to understand human cognition, communication, and behavior. The concept of 'One Health' has emerged as a framework for interdisciplinary work that cuts across human, animal, and ecosystem health in recognition of their interdependence and the value of an integrated perspective. Yet, the science of communication, information studies, social psychology, and other social sciences have remained marginalized in this emergence. Based on an interdisciplinary collaboration, this paper reports on a nascent conceptual framework for the role of social science in 'One Health' issues and identifies a series of recommendations for research directions that bear additional scrutiny and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.048DOI Listing
March 2015

Social networks and the communication of norms about prenatal care in rural Mexico.

J Health Commun 2015 12;20(1):112-20. Epub 2014 Aug 12.

a Department of Communication , Michigan State University , East Lansing , Michigan , USA.

Many normative beliefs are shared and learned through interpersonal communication, yet research on norms typically focuses on their effects rather than the communication that shapes them. This study focused on interpersonal communication during pregnancy to uncover (a) the nature of pregnancy-related communication and (b) normative information transmitted through such communication. Results from interviews with pregnant women living in rural Mexico revealed limited social networks; often, only a woman's mother or the baby's father were consulted about prenatal care decisions. However, women also indicated that communication with others during pregnancy provided important normative information regarding prenatal care. First, most referents believed that women should receive prenatal care (injunctive norm), which was conceptualized by participants as biomedical, nonmedical, or a blend of both. Second, family members often received prenatal care, whereas friends did not (descriptive norms). These findings highlight the key role of personal and social networks in shaping personal pregnancy-related beliefs and behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2014.914605DOI Listing
April 2015

Social influence in child care centers: a test of the theory of normative social behavior.

Health Commun 2014 17;29(3):219-32. Epub 2013 May 17.

a Department of Communication , Michigan State University.

Child care centers are a unique context for studying communication about the social and personal expectations about health behaviors. The theory of normative social behavior (TNSB; Rimal & Real, 2005 ) provides a framework for testing the role of social and psychological influences on handwashing behaviors among child care workers. A cross-sectional survey of child care workers in 21 centers indicates that outcome expectations and group identity increase the strength of the relationship between descriptive norms and handwashing behavior. Injunctive norms also moderate the effect of descriptive norms on handwashing behavior such that when strong injunctive norms are reported, descriptive norms are positively related to handwashing, but when weak injunctive norms are reported, descriptive norms are negatively related to handwashing. The findings suggest that communication interventions in child care centers can focus on strengthening injunctive norms in order to increase handwashing behaviors in child care centers. The findings also suggest that the theory of normative social behavior can be useful in organizational contexts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2012.738322DOI Listing
April 2015

What is normative in health communication research on norms? A review and recommendations for future scholarship.

Health Commun 2010 Sep;25(6-7):544-7

Department of Work and Social Psychology, Maastricht University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2010.496704DOI Listing
September 2010

The down low, social stigma, and risky sexual behaviors: insights from African-American men who have sex with men.

J Homosex 2010 ;57(5):610-33

Department of Communication, National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, and Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.

The "down low" is purported to contribute to social stigma associated with being homosexual and may influence risk behaviors. This article examines communication patterns among stigmatized groups and reports the findings from 32 structured interviews and five focus groups with African-American men who have sex with men. Results indicate negative emotions associated with labels based on sexual practices, the influential role of organized religion in social stigma, and barriers to reaching stigmatized groups. These findings can be used to build culturally appropriate sexual risk interventions for this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00918361003712020DOI Listing
November 2010

Prevention options for positives: the effects of a health communication intervention for men who have sex with men living with HIV/AIDS.

Health Commun 2009 Sep;24(6):562-71

Department of Communication, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

This article reports the results of a small-scale quasi-experiment that tested the efficacy of the Prevention Options for Positives intervention. The experiment tested for the outcomes of group sessions combined with individual-level counseling (ILC) versus ILC-only for men who have sex with men who are HIV positive. Both arms of the intervention were based on behavior change theory and dealt specifically with communication outcomes. The results indicate that the group- and individual-level interventions combined have a greater impact on risk communication behaviors with main partners than did the ILC-only sessions. group-session/ILC participants were more likely to decide not to have sex if they were drunk or high, and more likely to tell their partner and ask their partner about HIV status than were participants in the ILC groups. Knowledge about HIV was relatively high, and there was little change across groups. The Prevention Options for Positives intervention influenced the relative importance of various referent groups, but normative beliefs were not affected. The implications of these findings for communication practice and research with HIV-positive men who have sex with men are addressed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10410230903104947DOI Listing
September 2009

Risk perceptions of people living with HIV/AIDS: how similarity affects optimistic bias.

J Health Psychol 2009 Mar;14(2):251-7

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.

Little as known about how people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A) assess their vulnerability to non-HIV related risk factors, and how this judgement is affected by perceived similarity with others. This study indicates not only that PLWH/A are optimistically biased in their risk pereceptions, but also that they do not use others' HIV status to assess similarity. Perceived similarity with others, however, affects risk judgements: greater the perceived similarity with others, greater the tendency to judge others' vulnerability relative to one's own. Findings point to the importance of considering similarity as a key variable in understanding how risk assessments are made by persons with chronic health conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1359105308100209DOI Listing
March 2009

Can a short film impact HIV-related risk and stigma perceptions? Results from an experiment in Abuja, Nigeria.

Health Commun 2008 Sep;23(5):403-12

Department of Communication, Michigan State University, East Lausing, MI 48824, USA.

HIV/AIDS-related stigma is believed to result in negative social consequences for people with the disease and to be a deterrent to HIV serostatus testing. The ability of communicators to change people's stigma perceptions and subsequently impact decisions to test, however, is not well understood. Based on the entertainment-education approach, this article presents the results of a field experiment conducted in Abuja, Nigeria, testing a mediated intervention designed to reduce HIV-related stigma and risk perceptions. The results indicate that the intervention was effective relative to a control in impacting perceptions of the severity of HIV and some stigma-related attitudes, particularly for male participants; and that for this sample, risk and stigma perceptions significantly impact intentions to test for HIV. It also showed that severity perceptions mediated the relationship between viewing the film and testing intent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10410230802342093DOI Listing
September 2008

The role of group orientation and descriptive norms on water conservation attitudes and behaviors.

Health Commun 2007 ;22(2):133-42

Department of Communication, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824, USA.

Social norms have been shown to impact behaviors, but with mixed results. The theory of normative social behavior delineates factors that moderate the relationship between descriptive norms and behaviors, and it addresses the attributes of behaviors that make them susceptible to normative influence. This study tests whether group orientation moderates the impact of descriptive norms on water conservation attitudes and behavioral intentions. Findings indicate a consistent pattern of interactions for descriptive norms and group orientation on both attitudes and behavioral intent. Implications for normative theory and campaign design are addressed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10410230701454049DOI Listing
November 2007

StarvingforPerfect.com: a theoretically based content analysis of pro-eating disorder Web sites.

Health Commun 2006 ;20(3):243-53

Department of Communication, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48823, USA.

Like traditional media, information on the World Wide Web may encourage both healthy and unhealthy behaviors. This study reports on the content analysis of a particular genre of Web site that promotes unhealthy behaviors: pro-eating disorder Web sites. Framed in message design theory, the results of this study indicate that messages on pro-eating disorder Web sites promote response efficacy in continuing disordered behaviors, but messages promoting severity and susceptibility to weight gain and self-efficacy were not common. Given the importance of combining response and self-efficacy messages for maximal effectiveness of messages, the pro-eating disorder sites may have limited effectiveness in effecting behavioral change among site visitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15327027hc2003_4DOI Listing
February 2007
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