Information Source Dependence, Presumed Media Influence, Risk Knowledge, and Vaccination Intention

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Atlantic Journal of Communication

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Adults aged 18–29 have the lowest vaccination rates in the United States, which include the college student segment. Even though influenza can spread quickly on a college campus and its adjacent communities, only 8–39% of college students receive vaccination annually. This study assesses the influence of media exposure, knowledge, and perceptual factors on college students to gain a better understanding of how they respond to flu-related risk communication. Results from conducting an online survey of undergraduate students (N= 515) show that the more they depended on social media for risk information, the more likely they intend to seek vaccination. Presumed media influence of online-news and social media dependence on others was each a significant predictor of perceived others’ vaccination intention, which in turn had a direct effect on an individual’s own vaccination intention. Those that were more knowledgeable about the virus also reported a lower intention to receive vaccination. Implications for future research and risk information dissemination were discussed.


Communication | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Influenza Virus Vaccines | Social Media



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