Document Type



Department of Communication


Skin Cancer; Media Exemplars and Preventive Behaviors; Health Narratives

Rights Management

All rights retained by Christine M. Lemme


Skin cancer is a growing concern in the young-adult population due to the popularity of indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanning and the acceptance of numerous myths that skin cancer is not a major health concern. This thesis aims to look at the use of media exemplar perceived to be similar and credible to the target population in order to persuade the target population to adopt preventative skin-cancer behaviors. College students of both genders and various ethnicities (N = 170) were surveyed after listening to different radio exemplars on skin cancer. Results indicated that similarity and credibility play a key role in increasing the likelihood to change behaviors, but similarity played a larger role than credibility. Results also indicated that college-aged women were more likely to be persuaded by a similar source. However, the target audience was not transported by the exemplar. Overall, results indicated that similarity and credibility play an important role in persuading individuals to change their health behaviors; however, although similar, those roles are distinct.