The impact of risk and protective factors on message bias
Brooks, Carolyn Jean
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This study examined the relationships between seven risk and protective factors and perceptions of bias in anti-smoking messages among an adolescent sample (N = 392; mean age = 14.78 years). Repeated measure analyses were conducted. Parental monitoring was the only protective factor associated with lower perceptions of bias; whereas three of four of the risk factors (number of family/peer smokers, tobacco receptivity, and smoking behavior) were associated with greater perceptions of bias. Both interpersonal variables examined (parental monitoring & number of family/peer smokers), but only two of five individual variables (tobacco receptivity & smoking behavior) were associated with bias. Results indicate that factors external to the self do influence perceptions of message bias, and that those who are a heightened risk for smoking are more likely to perceive messages as biased. Messages should be carefully designed and disseminated to minimize the potential for message bias and rejection.