Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Emotional Education, Safe Sex Interventions, Normative Expertise, Message Valence

Major Advisor

Ross Buck

Associate Advisor

Mark Hamilton

Associate Advisor

John Christensen

Field of Study

Communication Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The current research compared the effectiveness of safe sex interventions that utilize an emotional education narrative style (Targeted Emotional Education Modules, or TEEMs) to those that utilize an imperative style. In a 2 (emotional education vs. imperative narrative style) by 2 (high vs. low normative expertise) by 2 (positive vs. negative valence) experimental design, participants were exposed to a safe sex intervention video in which two females discussed condom use or nonuse following a hookup at a party. Condom use attitudes and intentions were assessed immediately following the intervention, and actual condom use was assessed approximately one month later. While TEEMs were not necessarily more effective in promoting condom use attitudes and behaviors long-term, this study did provide support for the effectiveness of brief, cost-effective narrative video interventions. The imperative style promoted affective processing of the message, which triggered an underlying persuasive process that promoted rational processing of the message, followed by message and source evaluation, which finally impacted condom attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. Both message valence and normative expertise of the communicator exerted individual and combined effects on the persuasion process, such that message valence impacted affective processing and perceptions of normative expertise, with normative expertise positively influencing message and source evaluations. Implications for narrative health interventions are discussed based on these findings.