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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 9 Age is another variable that is likely to be associated with both membership in community organizations and health outcomes. These relationships, however, are likely more complex than those described earlier. For example, among adults, we can hypothesize that the relation between age and community membership is curvilinear – whereas young adults may engage in community events more often (because their educational setting facilitates this form of engagement), it is likely that once they engage in full-time work, their community membership will decrease (Putnam, 2000). Putnam has found that engagement then rebounds when adults reach retirement because their value structures become more closely aligned with their communities. Putnam (1996, 2000) also finds generational differences – that those who came of age during the Depression and World War II era tend to show greater engagement in civic affairs. Complicating the issue further is the finding that individuals typically become more health conscious and show greater interest in health information as they grow older (Ettema, Brown, & Luepker, 1983). Gender is another variable that has been found to be associated with membership in community organizations (Putnam, 2002) as well as with health outcomes (Williams & Flora, 1995; Winkleby et al., 1994). Hence, in order to test the relationship between membership in community organizations and health outcomes, we control for the effects of gender. Research has also found that use of the health media is significantly associated with positive health outcomes (Rimal & Flora, 1998). The relation between use of the health media and organizational membership, however, has yet to be determined. Hence, in the proposed model, we use this variable strictly as a control. Overall, then, our hypotheses are the following:

Authors: Stephens, Keri., Rimal, Rajiv. and Flora, June.
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Expanding the Reach 9
Age is another variable that is likely to be associated with both membership in
community organizations and health outcomes. These relationships, however, are likely more
complex than those described earlier. For example, among adults, we can hypothesize that the
relation between age and community membership is curvilinear – whereas young adults may
engage in community events more often (because their educational setting facilitates this form of
engagement), it is likely that once they engage in full-time work, their community membership
will decrease (Putnam, 2000). Putnam has found that engagement then rebounds when adults
reach retirement because their value structures become more closely aligned with their
communities. Putnam (1996, 2000) also finds generational differences – that those who came of
age during the Depression and World War II era tend to show greater engagement in civic
affairs. Complicating the issue further is the finding that individuals typically become more
health conscious and show greater interest in health information as they grow older (Ettema,
Brown, & Luepker, 1983).
Gender is another variable that has been found to be associated with membership in
community organizations (Putnam, 2002) as well as with health outcomes (Williams & Flora,
1995; Winkleby et al., 1994). Hence, in order to test the relationship between membership in
community organizations and health outcomes, we control for the effects of gender.
Research has also found that use of the health media is significantly associated with
positive health outcomes (Rimal & Flora, 1998). The relation between use of the health media
and organizational membership, however, has yet to be determined. Hence, in the proposed
model, we use this variable strictly as a control.
Overall, then, our hypotheses are the following:


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