The Prevalence and Coverage of Serious Health Risks in Popular Women's Magazines

Uploaded on

A content analysis of the coverage and emphasis of serious health risks in popular women's magazines. This was presented at the 2009 AEJMC conference in Boston, where I won the Top Faculty Paper in my …

A content analysis of the coverage and emphasis of serious health risks in popular women's magazines. This was presented at the 2009 AEJMC conference in Boston, where I won the Top Faculty Paper in my division.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide
  • Good Morning, My name is Shanna Kurpe. The study I am about to present to you was a part of my master’s thesis while studying at Florida State University. It as a part of a larger study that I did with the help of Dr. Gary Heald, and Dr. Juliann Cortese. Today, and I am going to quickly discuss some background information about the study, share with you how we did the study, and then share with you our findings. SO, let’s get started with the background.
  • When looking at other research, we find that minorities are at a significant risk of lifestyle influenced diseases. We also find that inequalities exist in the media when in terms of available and accurate information. Some researches conclude that these inequalities in the media could explain the existing gaps in health status.
  • Women are important because they play a significant and influential role within the family. Unfortunately, they have recently adopted negative lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking, inactivity and unhealthy eating. These habits are contributing to an increase in serious diseases. I will point out that lung cancer is now the most life-threatening cancer among women, surpassing breast cancer.
  • We all know that influence that media has on both knowledge and behavior, and magazines are particular important among women because they are appealing and a leading source of health information for women.
  • With that information, we wanted to know more about the coverage of these 13 serious health risks in women’s magazines. First, we wanted to know if the content in women’s magazines mirrored the prevalence of the serious health risks. We wanted to compare the general population with a magazine targeting that population, and the Hispanic population with a magazine targeting US Hispanics. Lastly, we wanted to know how the magazines compared when looked at side by side.
  • To start, we selected two magazines, Self and Vanidades because of they have similar audiences, reach and mission statements, and because they are both popular women’s magazines for their particular population. We did a stratified random sample across years and business quarters for issues in 2006 and 2007, sampling a total of 48 magazines and 881 articles.
  • I created a very detailed, 22 page codebook with 67 questions, and only a select few were used in this particular paper. This code book was used by both myself and a second coder who also spoke both English and Spanish. The code book was the number 1 reason we were able to establish such high-levels of reliability, using Krippendorf’s alpha test for reliability, with most reliability results reaching .99 or higher.
  • So, in conclusion we have learned a few things. First, there is a strong relationship between prevalence and coverage but both magazines are placing low emphasis on strokes, lung cancers and liver disease. that women who want to learn more about these health risks should consult Self magazine, but this poses a problem since it is only printed in English.Second, we learned that Self magazine is covering articles more often and dedicating more space to serious health risks when compared to Vanidades. Third, we found that there are three health risks where we find notable differences between the two populations that are given significantly more coverage in Self magazine that in Vandidades. Yet finally, when we take into consideration the amount of space dedicated to these health risks, we find that in each magazine gives less than 5%, which tells us that both magazines give little attention to the most prevalent, yet preventable health risks among women.


  • 1. Theprevalence& Coverage of Serious health risks
    A Content Analysis of Popular Women’s Health Magazines
    Targeting General and Hispanic Populations
    Shanna Kurpe
    Gary R. Heald, PhD.
    Juliann Cortese, PhD.
  • 2. Research Review
    Minorities are at significant risk for lifestyle-influenced diseases(Andresen & Brownson, 1999; National Women’s Health Information Center, 2006; Read & Gorman, 2005).
    Inequalities exist in the Media (Hall, Folta, & Goldberg, 2007; Mastin & Campo, 2006; “Magazines aimed”, 2005; Pollay, Lee, & Carter-Whitney, 1992).
    These inequalities may contribute to health gaps (Duerksen, et al., 2005).
  • 3. Women and health
    Health Decision-Maker
    Neglect their health for the family
    Influence family habits
    Negative Lifestyle Trends
    38.7% insufficient physical activity
    71.3% insufficient fruits and veggies
    Increase in tobacco and alcohol use
    High-risk heterosexual contact
    Increase in Serious Diseases
    Lung Cancer
    Heart Disease
  • 4. Gaps in health status
  • 5. Media influence
    Notable Differences in Media
    Portrayal of ethnic minorities
    Information available to minorities
    Influences Knowledge and Behavior
    Benefits to Health Communicators
    Unique Ability to Narrowcast
    Pass-along Value
    Esthetic Appeal
    Primary Source of Health Information
  • 6. Research Questions
    To what extend does the content of articles in U.S. general women’s audience health-related magazines parallel the high-risk causes of morbidity and mortality in the U.S?
    To what extent does the content of articles in U.S. Latina/Hispanic women’s health-related magazines parallel the high-risk causes of morbidity and mortality among Latino/Hispanic persons in the U.S.?
    When comparing health-related U.S. magazines targeting general and Latina/Hispanic women audiences, is there a difference in the coverage of high-risk causes of morbidity and mortality among women in the United States?
  • 7. A careful comparison
  • 8. Coding methods
  • 9. Prevalence vs. Coverage (General)
  • 10. Prevalence vs. Coverage (hispanic)
  • 11. Differences in coverage (frequency)
  • 12. Differences in coverage (size)
  • 13. conclusions
    Both magazines places low emphasis on:
    Cerebrovascular Diseases
    Trachea, Bronchus and Lung Cancer
    Liver Disease and Cirrhosis
    SELF Magazine Covers Health Risks
    More often per 100 Pages
    More space in Square Inches
    Diseases w/Noticeable Differences found in SELF
    Cervical Cancer
    Hepatitis B
    Total Space Dedicated to Health Risks
    SELF < 5%
    Vanidades = 0.47%