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Family Communication and Teen's Smoking Prevention
Unformatted Document Text:  Family Communication in Smoking Prevention—4 relationship between mass media and interpersonal communication in health promotion, particularly among preteens and early teens. It remains an open question as to how adolescents and their parents interact and how such interaction elicits changes in the children’s knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors related to tobacco use. Interplay of Mass Media and Interpersonal Communication Many scholars acknowledge that the interplay of mass communication and interpersonal communication has long been underexplored (Chaffee, 1986; Valente, Poppe, & Merritt, 1996; Valente & Saba, 1998). They hold that although there have been communication theories that simultaneously address mass and interpersonal communication, the relationship between mass and interpersonal communication is still unclear. The past theoretical discussion on mass and interpersonal communication included two perspectives. In the first perspective, these two ways of communication are viewed as competitive channels with contrasting effects. For example, Morton and Duck (2001) provided an argument that “To the extent that individuals have goals that cannot be satisfied through alternative sources of information, they are necessarily more dependent on media content. Thus, it could be expected that the effects of media would be most pronounced when more immediate sources of information, such as interpersonal communication, are either unavailable or inadequate” (p.606). Lazarsfeld, Berelson and Gaudet (1948) found that media’s impact on people’s voting decisions was limited because the effect of interpersonal communication had primacy over media messages. In the other perspective, mass and interpersonal communication are considered more convergent and complementary. For example, Katz & Lazarsfeld (1955; Katz, 1957) suggested the two-step flow as a revised model for understanding the role of interpersonal communication in transcending media

Authors: Cheng, I-Huei., Leshner, Glenn. and Cameron, Glen.
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Family Communication in Smoking Prevention—4
relationship between mass media and interpersonal communication in health promotion, particularly
among preteens and early teens. It remains an open question as to how adolescents and their parents
interact and how such interaction elicits changes in the children’s knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and
behaviors related to tobacco use.
Interplay of Mass Media and Interpersonal Communication
Many scholars acknowledge that the interplay of mass communication and interpersonal
communication has long been underexplored (Chaffee, 1986; Valente, Poppe, & Merritt, 1996; Valente
& Saba, 1998). They hold that although there have been communication theories that simultaneously
address mass and interpersonal communication, the relationship between mass and interpersonal
communication is still unclear.
The past theoretical discussion on mass and interpersonal communication included two
perspectives. In the first perspective, these two ways of communication are viewed as competitive
channels with contrasting effects. For example, Morton and Duck (2001) provided an argument that
“To the extent that individuals have goals that cannot be satisfied through alternative sources of
information, they are necessarily more dependent on media content. Thus, it could be expected that the
effects of media would be most pronounced when more immediate sources of information, such as
interpersonal communication, are either unavailable or inadequate” (p.606). Lazarsfeld, Berelson and
Gaudet (1948) found that media’s impact on people’s voting decisions was limited because the effect
of interpersonal communication had primacy over media messages.
In the other perspective, mass and interpersonal communication are considered more convergent
and complementary. For example, Katz & Lazarsfeld (1955; Katz, 1957) suggested the two-step flow
as a revised model for understanding the role of interpersonal communication in transcending media


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