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Narrative media health messages have proven effective in preventing adolescents’ substance use but as yet few measures exist to assess perceptions of them. Without such a measure it is difficult to evaluate the role these messages play in health promotion or to differentiate them from other message forms. In response to this need, a study was conducted to evaluate the Perception of Narrative Performance Scale that assesses perceptions of narrative health messages. A sample of 1185 fifth graders in public schools at Phoenix, Arizona completed a questionnaire rating of two videos presenting narrative substance use prevention messages. Confirmatory factor analyses were computed to identify the factor structure of the scale. Consistent with prior studies, results suggest a 3 factor structure for the Perception of Narrative Performance Scale: interest, realism, and identification (with characters). In addition, a path analysis was performed to test the predictive power of the scale. The analysis shows that the scale proves useful in predicting intent to use substances. Finally, practical implications and limitations are discussed.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Communication Methods and Measures in 2011, available online at DOI: 10.1080/19312458.2011.568374.


Taylor & Francis



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