USC

University of Southern California
Annenberg School for Communication


Research

Research Areas

Health Communication

We situate health within the context of the storytelling network and the communication action context (CAC). Where do people go to access information about health? What sorts of health resources are available in different communities? What aspects of a community constrain or enable its members’ ability to access health information and resources or lead healthy lifestyles? What stories are communities telling about health and medicine and how do these stories affect residents’ health decisions?

We hypothesize that different geo-ethnic communities have different health storytelling networks. To begin with, different communities are connected to different types of media and information resources. Understanding the scope and goals of media connections is crucial for those wishing to affect the health of a community. Some communities may prefer talking to friends, others may prefer talking to health practitioners and others may get their health information from geo-ethnic media. Additionally, one must look at the content of the media and resources to which communities are connecting for health information in order to understand how these components of the storytelling network facilitate the circulation of certain health messages and not others.

Similarly, different communities have different structural and cultural barriers hindering access to health information and healthcare “for example, no health insurance, low levels of health literacy, or lack of communication skills. Because of this, different communities tell different stories about health and consequently experience different health outcomes. We posit that public health practitioners and others must first understand the health storytelling network so that they may enter into it in a way that will maximize the effectiveness of their participation.


Research Team

- Garrett M. Broad

- Hayeon Song

- Holley Wilkin

- Matthew D. Matsaganis

- Meghan Moran

- Nancy Chen

- Sandra Ball-Rokeach

- Vikki Katz

 


Publications

Books Katz, V.S. (2014). Kids in the Middle: How Children of Immigrants Negotiate Community Interactions for Their Families. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Published Papers Ball-Rokeach, S.J. & Wilkin, H.A. (2009). Ethnic differences in health information seeking behavior: Methodological and applied issues. Communication Research Reports, Vol. 26. No. 1, pp. 1-8 Ball-Rokeach, S.J., & Loges, W.E. (2001). Media: Ally or adversary? Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. 15, 62-69. Cheong, P.H., Wilkin, H.A., & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (2004). Diagnosing the communication infrastructure in order to reach target audiences: A study of Hispanic communities in Los Angeles. In Cook, D. & Whitten, P. (Eds.), Understanding health communications technologies: A case study approach. (pp.101-110). Katz, V.S. (2014). Children as brokers of their immigrant families' healthcare connections. Social Problems, 61(2), 194-215. Kim, Y-C., Moran, M., Wilkin, H. A., & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (2011). Integrated connection to a neighborhood storytelling network (ICSN), education, and chronic disease knowledge among African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles. Journal of Health Communication 16: 393-415. Kim, Y.C. Wilkin, H.A., Moran, M.B., & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (Resubmitted). Integrated Connection to a Neighborhood Storytelling Network (ICSN), education, and chronic disease knowledge among African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles. Journal of Health Communication. Villanueva, G., Broad, G.M., Gonzalez, C., Ball-Rokeach, S.J., Murphy, S. (2016). Communication Asset Mapping: An Ecological Field Application Toward Building Healthy Communities. International Journal of Communication 10(2016), 2704-2724 http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/5335/1674 Wilkin, H. A. & Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (2011). Hard to reach? Using health access status as a way to more effectively target segments of the Hispanic audience. Health Education Research 26(2): 239-253. Wilkin, H. A., Moran, M. B., Ball-Rokeach, S. J., Gonzales, C., & Kim, Y-C. (2010). Applications of communication infrastructure theory. Health Communication, 25(6), 611-612. Wilkin, H. A., Valente, T. W., Murphy, S., Cody, M. J., Huang, G., & Beck, V. (2007). Does entertainment-education work with Latinos in the United States? Identification and the effects of a telenovela breast cancer storyline. Journal of Health Communication, 12(6). Wilkin, H.A., & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (2006). Reaching at risk groups: The importance of health storytelling in Los Angeles Latino media. Journalism: Theory, Practice, 7, 299-320.
Papers in Preparation Kim, Y.C., & Wilkin, H. (in progress) Structural Constraints, Neighborhood Communication Resources, and Access to Health Information among Hispanic Immigrants in Los Angeles. Wilkin, H. & Ball-Rokeach, S. J. Using health communication connections to better reach audiences with cancer prevention messages.
Special Journal Issue Cheong, P.H. (2007). Health Communication Resources for Uninsured and Insured Hispanics. Health Communication, 21(2), 153-163.
Papers Presented at Professional Meetings Ball-Rokeach, S. J., Cheong, P. H., & Wilkin, H. (2003). Tapping Into Virtual Resources: Newer and Older Media in Health Promotion. Paper presented at the Virtual Learning in Health Communication Conference, Annenberg School for Communication, Los Angeles. Ball-Rokeach, S.J. & Wilkin, H. (2006) Ethnic differences in health information seeking behavior: Methodological and applied issues. Paper presented at the meeting of the joint Annenberg Health Conference. Broad, G. (2010). Jamie Oliver Takes On the US School Food System. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Conference, San Francisco, CA. Katz, V. (2007). Making the connection: What immigrant children do for their families and how it matters. Presentation at the UCLA Migration Symposium, Los Angeles. Katz, V. S., Wilkin, H. A., & Hether, H. J. (2010, August). Family communication and healthy lifestyle choices: An exploration of family talk among Latinos and African Americans. Paper presented at the 105th American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA. Katz, V.S. (2011, May). How children of immigrants contribute to family health and community wellness in urban neighborhoods. Presented to the International Communication Association Annual Conference (Boston, MA). Katz, V.S., Ang, A. & Suro, S. (2010, August). An ecological approach to understanding U.S. Latinos' health communication behaviors, access, and outcomes. Presented to the American Sociological Association Annual Conference (Atlanta, GA). Kim, Y-C, Wilkin, H. A., Moran, M. B. & Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (2009). Effects of integrated connection to a neighborhood storytelling network and education on chronic disease knowledge gaps among African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles. Paper presented at the National Communication Association annual conference, Chicago. Kim, Y.C. Wilkin, H.A., Moran, M.B., & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (2009). Integrated Connection to a Neighborhood Storytelling Network (ICSN), education, and chronic disease knowledge among African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles. National Communication Association, Chicago. Kim, Y.C., Wilkin, H.A., Moran, M.B., & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (2008). Effects of Integrated Connection to a Neighborhood Storytelling Network (ICSN) and education on chronic disease knowledge gaps among African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles. American Public Health Association Annual Convention. San Diego, CA. Matsaganis, M. (2007). Harnessing the Power of Neighborhood Communication Networks to Build Health Literacy in Diverse Urban Communities. Presented at the National Communication Association Conference/Urban Communication Foundation Conference. Chicago, IL. Matsaganis, M. (2009). How the interaction of residents and community institutions impacts health literacy and how it can be leveraged to improve health care access. American Public Health Association. Philadelphia, PA. Matsaganis, M.D., Wilkin, H.A.(2012).The Communicative Construction of Bridging and Bonding Civic Engagement for Healthier Neighborhoods. Paper presented at the International Communication Association conference. Phoenix, AZ. Moran, M. (2010). Linking Social Identity to Three Theories of Behavioral Prediction. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Conference, San Francisco, CA. Moran, M.B., Matsaganis, M., Gonzalez, C., & Schrock, A. (2011). Associations between Television and Mental Well-being via Neighborhood Belonging. Presented at the 97th Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association, New Orleans, LA. Wilkin, H. & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (2006) Using health communication connections to better reach audiences with cancer prevention messages. Paper presented at the meeting of the joint Annenberg Health Conference. Wilkin, H. A., & Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (2010, June). Hard-to-reach? Using health access status as a way to more effectively target segments of the Hispanic audience. Paper presented at the 60th International Communication Association Conference, Singapore. Wilkin, H. A., & Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (2010, June). Hard-to-reach? Using health access status as a way to more effectively target segments of the Hispanic audience. Paper presented at the 60th International Communication Association Conference, Singapore. Wilkin, H.A., & Gonzales, C. (2006). Are Spanish language television shows connecting Los Angeles Latino residents to their health storytelling networks? Paper presented at the 56th International Communication Association Conference, Dresden, Germany.
Dissertations Cheong, P. (2004). Media relations, threat and health problem-solving behaviors: Extension and application of communication infrastructure theory and research. Dissertation Abstracts International, 65 (09), 3202. Katz, V. (2007). From conversation to conversion: Children's efforts to translate their immigrant families' social networks into community connections. Matsaganis, M. D. (2008). Rediscovering the communication engine of neighborhood effects: how the interaction of residents and community institutions impacts health literacy and how it can be leveraged to improve health care access. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Moran, M. (2009). The Role of Social Identity in Adolescent Smoking Behavior. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Wilkin, H.A. (2006). Diagnosing communication connections: Reaching underserved communities through existing communication ecologies. Dissertation Abstracts International, 67 (06).