Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2009

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Julie Andsager

First Committee Member

Venise Berry

Second Committee Member

Michelle Campo


African American women's HIV incidence rates are disproportionately higher than other population groups in the United States. Social cognitive theory concepts were used to perform a quantitative content analysis of the magazines Essence, Ebony, and Jet, which are sources of health information and vicarious learning, to evaluate the quality of the HIV/AIDS prevention messages for 2000 to 2006. The data reveal some positive reflection of health messages, but many articles focus more on dramatic risk factors and less on providing useful information and proposed behaviors for African American women. Environmental risks and gender-specific risks are not emphasized. The public health community should use the media messages that are already present to build a media advocacy campaign that provides more comprehensive information and bring about social change.


African American women, HIV/AIDS, Magazine, Social Cognitive Theory


vi, 70 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 56-62).


Copyright 2009 Ashley Shiels Peterson