Free Health Psychology Essay Sample
“What are you doing to yourself” is a NWS health website. Its objective is to positively transform the behavior of drug and substance abuse individuals. It achieves this by campaign posters on the website. The posters are designed to fill the informational gap, warn and guide addicts, to effectively achieve its objective and mandate. One such poster is one that asks questions that have a true or false answer. The individuals who need to change their behavior are given information of which they just have to find out if the statement is true or false. Through accessing these facts, the targeted audience may be positively influenced to change and sustain their drug and substance behavior.
Another campaign poster is the one that warns the targeted audience that they do not have to drink alcohol for them to a good night out. It warns individuals of 18 years and below, that if they are found buying or drinking alcohol, they could face a fine of up to $2,200. This poster warns underage drinkers of the potential risk they are exposed to, as they could be fined a large sum of money if caught. This instills fear in the underage drinkers to influence behavior change.
The site uses central route of persuasion. They pass the information directly about the hazards of binge drinking to achieve behavior change. The strength of the site is that communicates much needed information in an easy way making it effective. The only weakness is that the information provided is narrow, so it may not sustain an attitude for behavior change in the long run. The information source is credible, attractive and likeable. It communicates at the right time and place when the individual has a weaker attitude. The barrier that may limit its effectiveness is the challenge of maintaining the attitude for behavior change. The individuals may come to terms with the consequences of binge drinking.
Social marketing campaign strategy is recommended over commercial marketing strategies. The major difference between the two is that social marketing involves promoting products, ideas and services to influence a positive behavior change in the targeted group while commercial marketing involves promotion of product, idea or service for economic gains of the individual doing the marketing without concern to the behavior change in the targeted group.
The study by jack et al (2005) recommends that the message should be geared towards parents, high school students and college and university students. The main channels of communication recommended were posters, Internet and posters. The media are those which can appeal to young targeted audience. Images, language and messages that could appeal to the young adults were also recommended. The main reasons for the abuse should be identified and alternatives provided. Print advertisements can also be crucial in reducing alcohol abuse in young adults.
The NWS health website fairly integrates the recommendations of the study. The promotional campaign uses one of the media recommended by the study. Internet was recommended as one of avenues that could pass the information to the young adults most effectively. The posters are also appealing to the audience recommended in the study. Parents, high scholars and post secondary are the main targets of the NWS social campaigns. The message, images and language employed in the website, is appealing to the targeted audience. The design of the website is appealing to the young adults. People under the age of 18 years are targeted to influence behavior change in them.
Alexa is a 42 year old chain smoker; she started smoking while in high school and has been addicted to the habit ever since. The main reason why she started smoking was the peer influence. She smoked so as to gain entry into the social circle of her friends. She initially thought that smoking was cool (smoker’s image). The other reason was that she wanted to proof that she could do anything she wanted to (adolescent’s rebelliousness). Smoking during the high school days offered hope and an external locus of control in her.
Over the years, Alexa has justified her habit through reasons like satisfaction for her needs of social acceptance (social acceptance). A cigarette has always been able to get her through the monotonous days that are too boring to bear (boredom), but not only does it offer her solace on those days, but also during days when she have fun (pleasure). She confesses that cigarette smoking is an integral part of her now, and she might not be able to give it up (addiction). These are the main reasons why she has been unable to give up smoking since those high school days. She has attempted to reform from the habit due to health concerns, but she is unable to do so. However, she eventually does not achieve this as she thinks she is healthy, and cigarette smoking does not seem to affect her (perception on risk disease).
Now at age of 42 the effects of smoking are becoming more prevalent. She risks diseases like lung and throat cancers. She is well aware of these risks through information of her doctor. She is committed to quitting the habit (fear). She is fully committed to achieving this (self efficacy). She explores the options available to her that can help her quit completely while keeping in mind the cost.
Relapse Factors and Action Strategy
Stress is usually a reason for relapse in patients making a recovery. Exposure to stress makes individuals seek for ways to deal with the stress. The individuals usually find their way back to drug and substance abuse. The action to prevent relapse due to stress is to cushion the patient against stress. Social support is crucial in offering encouragement to individuals to buffer against stress.
Another reason for relapse is attitude change. Drug and substance abuse behavior is usually at loggerheads with one’s attitude. Changing ones behavior is difficult therefore; individuals mostly change their attitude causing a relapse. To prevent these continuous visits to the doctor is crucial. Social support can also help an individual not to relapse.