Social Marketing Risk-Framing Approaches for Dental Sealants in Rural American Indian Children


Objective: To compare three variants of a culturally relevant and theoretically based message to determine the most influential risk-framing approach for improving intention to place dental sealants for preschool children. Design and Sample: A convenience sample of adult, American Indian participants (n = 89) attending a community health fair were assigned to view a gain-framed, loss-framed, or mix-framed dental sealant message. Measures: We compared participants\' scores on a 46-item survey to determine the relative effect of the frame assignment on seven indices of behavior change. Results: The mean difference in participants\' stage-of-change scores (x = 1.17, n = 89, SD = 1.90) demonstrated a significant improvement for all groups after watching the dental sealant message t88 = 5.81, p < .0001, 95% CI [0.77–1.57]. Self-efficacy was the only construct for which we detected a statistically significant difference as a function of frame assignment. Overall, the mix-framed message resulted in the highest scores. The gain-framed message was the least influential on four constructs. This finding is in contrast to findings that gain-framed oral health messages are most influential (Gallagher & Updegraff, 2012; O'Keefe & Jensen, 2007). Conclusions: Community advisory board members determined to use the mix-framed approach in an oral health social marketing campaign with a rural, American Indian audience.




Larsson, Laura S., Dorothy Champine, Dee Hoyt, Lillian Lin, Emily Salois, Sharon Silvas, Terri Weasel Tail, and Matthew Williams. "Social Marketing Risk-Framing Approaches for Dental Sealants in Rural American Indian Children." Public Health Nursing (June 2015). DOI:
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