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Expanding the Reach of Health Campaigns: Can Community Organizations Serve as Viable Channels of Health Information?
Unformatted Document Text:  Expanding the Reach 13 Television viewing. Respondents were asked how many hours they spent watching television “yesterday.” Responses ranged from “none” to more than 4 hours in one-hour categories. Health information seeking. This was a composite measure of three items. Items asked how much respondents read (a) health and doctor's columns, (b) news articles on health, and (c) food and recipe information. Responses, coded on a 5-point scale ranging from “ignored” to “read all” were averaged into an index, = .78. Knowledge about health. This was a summative index consisting of 17 questions that were asked at each survey, the unidimensionality of which has been established elsewhere (Winkleby, Flora, & Kraemer, 1994). Questions tested knowledge about food content; the relationship between certain foods and heart disease and blood pressure; benefits of exercise; and the role of dietary fiber. About half the items were of true-false format and the other half multiple choice. Demographic measures. Three demographic measures included in this study were age, gender, and education (operationalized as the number of formal years of schooling completed). Secular trend. This was operationalized as the number of years elapsed since baseline pertaining to the data wave. Hence, data from baseline (1979) was coded as 0, data from the second wave (1981) was coded as 2, etc. Results Preliminary Analyses The average age of the sample was 38.6 years (SD = 16.6), average education was 12.9 years of schooling (SD = 3.5), and the sample comprised 54% females. Correlations among all the variables included in this paper are shown in Table 1.

Authors: Stephens, Keri., Rimal, Rajiv. and Flora, June.
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Expanding the Reach 13
Television viewing. Respondents were asked how many hours they spent watching
television “yesterday.” Responses ranged from “none” to more than 4 hours in one-hour
categories.
Health information seeking. This was a composite measure of three items. Items asked
how much respondents read (a) health and doctor's columns, (b) news articles on health, and (c)
food and recipe information. Responses, coded on a 5-point scale ranging from “ignored” to
“read all” were averaged into an index, = .78.
Knowledge about health. This was a summative index consisting of 17 questions that
were asked at each survey, the unidimensionality of which has been established elsewhere
(Winkleby, Flora, & Kraemer, 1994). Questions tested knowledge about food content; the
relationship between certain foods and heart disease and blood pressure; benefits of exercise; and
the role of dietary fiber. About half the items were of true-false format and the other half
multiple choice.
Demographic measures. Three demographic measures included in this study were age,
gender, and education (operationalized as the number of formal years of schooling completed).
Secular trend. This was operationalized as the number of years elapsed since baseline
pertaining to the data wave. Hence, data from baseline (1979) was coded as 0, data from the
second wave (1981) was coded as 2, etc.
Results
Preliminary Analyses
The average age of the sample was 38.6 years (SD = 16.6), average education was 12.9
years of schooling (SD = 3.5), and the sample comprised 54% females. Correlations among all
the variables included in this paper are shown in Table 1.


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