The polarizing effect of news media messages about the social determinants of health
American Journal of Public Health
Volume 99, Issue 12
Attitude to Health; Mass Media; Public Opinion; Chronic Diseases and Conditions
Framing health problems in terms of the social determinantsof health aims to shift policy attention to nonmedical strategiesto improve population health, yet little is known about howthe public responds to these messages. We conducted an experimentto test the effect of a news article describing the social determinantsof type 2 diabetes on the public's support for diabetes preventionstrategies. We found that exposure to the social determinantsmessage led to a divergence between Republicans' and Democrats'opinions, relative to their opinions after viewing an articlewith no message about the causes of diabetes. These resultssignify that increasing public awareness of the social determinantsof health may not uniformly increase public support for policyaction.
Gollust, S.E., Lantz, P.M., Ubel, P.A. (2009). The polarizing effect of news media messages about the social determinants of health. American Journal of Public Health, 99(12), 2160-2167.