Enhancing the effectiveness of antismoking messages via self-congruent appeals

Health Commun. 2009 Jan;24(1):33-40. doi: 10.1080/10410230802606976.


A self-congruent effect model was applied to understand adolescents' responses to antismoking advertising that referred to the self or others. Experiment 1 showed that self-referring ads generated more negative smoking attitudes than other-referring ads among adolescents with independent self-construals, whereas other-referring ads generated more negative smoking attitudes than self-referring ads among adolescents with interdependent self-construals. A survey further showed that smokers rated themselves higher on a measure of independent self-construal than nonsmokers. Experiment 2 then found that self-referring ads are more effective than other-referring ads for smokers, who have independent self-construals. Findings supported the idea that health communication campaign designers can maximize message effectiveness by developing different messages for different target segments of the population based on their self-construals.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Advertising
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Persuasive Communication*
  • Schools
  • Self Concept*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Marketing*
  • Students / psychology
  • Taiwan