The role of interpersonal communication in health behavior and health communication

Extant research shows that interpersonal communication between people has more influence than professional health communication. This project aims at increasing insight into how people communicate about health-related behaviors and how this influences health behavior. In addition, interpersonal communication can both strengthen and weaken the effects of professional health communication (e.g., campaigns). More knowledge on the role of interpersonal communication is needed to anticipate on the social interaction between people in response to a campaign. This knowledge can help to improve the campaign message, for example by inducing people to talk more positively about health behaviors, thus using the strength of interpersonal communication to improve health. So far, studies have been done in the fields of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, condom use and campaigns from the Dutch government.

Research team: prof. Bas van den Putte
dr. Gert-Jan de Bruijn
dr. Hanneke Hendriks
Status: Ongoing since 2011
Funding: Amsterdam School of Communication Research / ASCoR