Selected Publications

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Background: Nonmedical prescription stimulant (NPS) use for academic reasons (e.g., to improve concentration) is a growing problem among college students. However, there is limited theory-driven research that attempts to identify risk cognitions underpinning decisions to use and NPS use for academic purposes. Furthermore, it is unclear if academic NPS use is characterized by deliberative and/or socially reactive processing and what health decision-making model or combination of models best predicts NPS use decisions and use. Identifying cognitions associated with NPS use decisions is essential to develop interventions aimed at preventing and reducing NPS use. Objective: The present study tested the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), Prototype/Willingness Model (PWM), and a combined TRA/PWM model to identify which model best predicts academic NPS use decisions (willingness and intentions) and past 2-month use among college students. Method: Undergraduates (N¼ 344) participated in a two-wave study assessing T1 constructs from the TRA and PWM as predictors of T2 (2 months later) academic NPS use decisions and use. Results: In the combined TRA/PWM, all T1 constructs were associated with T2 NPS willingness, intentions, and use except for injunctive norms. The integrated model also explained greater variance in T2 use, willingness, and intentions than each model alone. Conclusions/ Importance: The combination of cognitions from the TRA/PWM was superior to each individual model and improved the prediction of future NPS use willingness, intentions, and use. The overall results derived from all three models suggest that both deliberative and socially reactive processing influence and characterize academic NPS use decisions and use.

ABSTRACT |There is little published research that tests the effect of recreational marijuana legislation on risk-related cognitions and how individuals respond immediately after legislative approval. The objective was to test whether learning about the passage of Initiative 71, a voter referendum that legalized recreational use of marijuana in the District of Columbia, would lead individuals to adopt more favorable marijuana cognitions than they had before the Initiative was passed. Undergraduate students (N = 402) completed two web-based questionnaires in 2014. The first questionnaire was completed prior to the referendum vote and the follow-up questionnaire was completed after voters approved Initiative 71. Attitudes, perceived norms, intentions, prototypes, and willingness were measured at time 1 and time 2. Study hypotheses were tested using repeated-measures analysis of covariance. Results showed that attitudes, intentions, perceived norms, and willingness to use marijuana were more favorable after Initiative 71 was passed. However, the increase in attitudes and willingness was moderated by past experience with marijuana whereby the increases were statistically significant only among those with the least experience. The increase in perceived norms was also moderated by past experience whereby increases were statistically significant among those who were moderate or heavy users. The passage of Initiative 71 had no effect on favorable prototypes. Conclusion/Importance: Legalization may have the unintended outcome of leading to more favorable intentions to use marijuana and might lead abstainers or experimental users to become more frequent users of marijuana via more positive attitudes and willingness towards marijuana use.

ABSTRACT | Objective: The goal of the study was to examine differential mediation of long-term effects of discrimination on health behaviour and health status by internalising (anxiety and depression) and externalising (hostility and anger), and to explore moderation of these effects, specifically, by the presence of support networks and coping tendencies. Design: The current analyses employed structural equation modelling of five waves of data from Black female participants of the Family and Community Health Study over 11 years (M age 37-48). Main Outcomes Measures: The main outcome variables were health status and alcohol use (frequency and problematic consumption). Results: Perceived racial discrimination was associated with increases in internalising and externalising. In addition, internalising reactions to discrimination were associated with deterioration in health status and increases in problematic drinking; externalising reactions were associated with increases in frequency of drinking. These relations were attenuated by availability of support networks, and exacerbated by use of avoidance coping. Conclusion: The current study (a) replicated previous research suggesting that two different types of affective reactions mediate the relations between perceived racial discrimination and physical health status vs. health-impairing behaviours: internalising and externalising, and (b) revealed moderation of these effects by coping mechanisms.

ABSTRACT | Affirming one’s racial identity may help protect against the harmful effects of racial exclusion on substance use cognitions. This study examined whether racial versus self-affirmation (vs. no affirmation) buffers against the effects of racial exclusion on substance use willingness and substance use word associations in Black young adults. It also examined anger as a potential mediator of these effects. After being included, or racially excluded by White peers, participants were assigned to a writing task: self-affirmation, racial-affirmation, or describing their sleep routine (neutral). Racial exclusion predicted greater perceived discrimination and anger. Excluded participants who engaged in racial-affirmation reported reduced perceived discrimination, anger, and fewer substance use cognitions compared to the neutral writing group. This relation between racial-affirmation and lower substance use willingness was mediated by reduced perceived discrimination and anger. Findings suggest racial-affirmation is protective against racial exclusion and, more generally, that ethnic based approaches to minority substance use prevention may have particular potential.

ABSTRACT | Objective: The present study examined whether having high self-esteem or a self-compassionate perspective help mitigate the impact of daily social rejection on negative affect and restrictive eating behaviours. Design: Following a baseline survey assessing self-esteem and self-compassion, 121 college women completed online daily diaries for one week. Main Outcome Measures: Negative affect and restrictive eating behaviours. Results: On days when women reported more rejection, they also reported higher restrictive eating behaviours and greater negative affect. Effects were moderated by self-esteem and self-compassion, such that the lower participants were in self-esteem or self-compassion, the stronger the positive relation between rejection and negative affect and restrictive eating. However, only the common humanity/isolation dimension of self-compassion significantly moderated daily effects of rejection when controlling for self-esteem. Mediated moderation results reveal different mechanisms by which self-esteem and self-compassion buffer against rejections’ effects on affect and restrictive eating. Conclusion: Self-compassion and self-esteem influence the complex impact that social rejection has on affect and restrictive eating. More than other dimensions of self-compassion or self-esteem, remembering one’s common humanity can result in a healthier response to social rejection.

ABSTRACT | Objective: The goal of the study was to examine differential mediation of long-term effects of discrimination on health behaviour and health status by internalising (anxiety and depression) and externalising (hostility and anger), and to explore moderation of these effects, specifically, by the presence of support networks and coping tendencies. Design: The current analyses employed structural equation modelling of five waves of data from Black female participants of the Family and Community Health Study over 11 years (Mage 37–48).

Main Outcomes Measures: The main outcome variables were health status and alcohol use (frequency and problematic consumption). Results: Perceived racial discrimination was associated with increases in internalising and externalising. In addition, internalising reactions to discrimination were associated with deterioration in health status and increases in problematic drinking; externalising reactions were associated with increases in frequency of drinking. These relations were attenuated by availability of support networks, and exacerbated by use of avoidance coping.

Conclusion: The current study (a) replicated previous research suggesting that two different types of affective reactions mediate the relations between perceived racial discrimination and physical health status vs. health-impairing behaviours: internalising and externalising, and (b) revealed moderation of these effects by coping mechanisms.

ABSTRACT | Parental racial socialization is a parenting tool used to prepare African American adolescents for managing racial stressors. While it is known that parents’ racial discrimination experiences affect the racial socialization messages they provide, little is known about the influence of factors that promote supportive and communal parenting, such as perceived neighborhood cohesion. In cohesive neighborhoods, neighbors may help parents address racial discrimination by monitoring youth and conveying racial socialization messages; additionally, the effect of neighborhood cohesion on parents’ racial socialization may differ for boys and girls because parents socialize adolescents about race differently based on expected encounters with racial discrimination. Therefore, the current study examines how parents’ perception of neighborhood cohesion and adolescents’ gender moderate associations between parents’ racial discrimination experiences and the racial socialization messages they deliver to their adolescents. Participants were a community sample of 608 African American adolescents (54 % girls; mean age = 15.5) and their primary caregivers (86 % biological mothers; mean age = 42.0). Structural equation modeling indicated that parental racial discrimination was associated with more promotion of mistrust messages for boys and girls in communities with low neighborhood cohesion. In addition, parental racial discrimination was associated with more cultural socialization messages about racial pride and history for boys in neighborhoods with low neighborhood cohesion. The findings suggest that parents’ racial socialization messages are influenced by their own racial discrimination experiences and the cohesiveness of the neighborhood; furthermore, the content of parental messages delivered varies based on adolescents’ gender.

ABSTRACT | Risk beliefs and self-efficacy play important roles in explaining smoking-related outcomes and are important to target in tobacco control interventions. However, information is lacking about the underlying beliefs that drive these constructs. The present study investigated the interrelationships among young adult smokers’ beliefs about the nature of nicotine addiction and smoking-related affect and cognitions (i.e., feelings of risk, worry about experiencing the harms of smoking, self-efficacy of quitting, and intentions to quit). Smokers (n = 333) were recruited from two large universities. Results showed that quit intentions were associated with feelings of risk, but not with worry or self-efficacy. Furthermore, higher feelings of risk were associated with lower beliefs that addiction is an inevitable consequence of smoking and with lower beliefs that the harms of smoking are delayed. This suggests that it is important for health messages to counter the possible negative effects of messages that strongly emphasize the addictiveness of nicotine, possibly by emphasizing the importance of quitting earlier rather than later. The findings also add to the evidence base that feelings of risk are powerful predictors of behavioral intentions. Furthermore, our results suggest that in some circumstances, feelings of risk predict quit intentions beyond that predicted by worry and self-efficacy. Gaining additional understanding of the tobacco-related beliefs that can increase feelings of risk and incorporating those beliefs into educational campaigns may improve the quality of such campaigns and reduce tobacco use.

ABSTRACT | Racial discrimination is associated with alcohol use and risky sex cognitions and behaviors, which are risk factors for negative health outcomes, including human immunodeficiency virus infection. The current study investigated the causal impact of racial discrimination on alcohol and sexual-risk cognitions while exploring potential mediators that might help explain this relation: negative affect, perceived control, and meaningful existence. We also examined if past discrimination impacts the strength of (moderates) these effects. Participants were 287 Black/African American young adults aged 18-25. They were randomly assigned to be excluded or included by White peers via the game Cyberball. Racial exclusion (vs. inclusion) predicted greater: perceived racial discrimination, negative affect, alcohol use willingness, and reduced perceived control and meaningful existence. Furthermore, excluded participants who experienced more past racial discrimination reported the lowest perceived control, and greatest negative affect and alcohol-risk cognitions. The findings suggest that past racial discrimination exacerbates the harmful health effects of immediate experiences of discrimination.

ABSTRACT | The present study examined if trait need to belong and rejection sensitivity differentially moderate the impact of experimentally manipulated social exclusion on stress and affect. Participants (N = 132) completed a survey measuring need to belong and rejection sensitivity, and then were randomly assigned to be included or excluded during a game of Cyberball. A second survey then assessed perceived stress and negative affect, and a cortisol sample was taken. Controlling for gender and baseline cortisol levels, excluded participants high (versus low) in need to belong had significantly higher post-exclusion cortisol levels, and reported greater perceived stress and negative affect. The moderating effect for rejection sensitivity was not found, however, and need to belong and rejection sensitivity were not correlated. Findings suggest that the need to belong moderates psychological and physiological responses to exclusion.

ABSTRACT | Three studies (N = 545) investigated the effects of social comparison on a type of heuristic called “absent-exempt” (AE; feeling exempt from future risk). Study 1 examined how comparison with an infected peer (comparison target) who was similar or non-similar in terms of sexual risk (number of partners, lack of condom use), influenced willingness and intentions to engage in sex without a condom and conditional perceived vulnerability to a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Participants generally reported lower willingness and higher conditional vulnerability if they compared with a similar-risk level target. However, high-risk students who compared with a low-risk comparison target engaged in what appeared to be AE thinking, reporting the highest willingness and lowest conditional vulnerability. Intentions to have sex without a condom were not influenced. Study 2 included a direct measure of AE thinking, and compared the impact of a low-risk comparison target with a Public Service Announcement (PSA) stating that negative outcomes (e.g., STDs) can happen even to low-risk targets. Among high-risk participants, comparing with the low-risk target led to an increase in AE thinking. As expected, the effects in Studies 1 and 2 were strongest among participants high in tendencies to socially compare. Study 3 explored whether AE thinking could be decreased by encouraging more reasoned processing. Results indicated that asking participants to think about the illogicality of AE thinking reduces AE endorsement and increases STD testing intentions. Findings suggest that comparison-based information can have a stronger influence on health cognitions than analytic-based information (e.g., most PSAs). Implications for dual-processing models of decision-making and their applicability to interventions and health messages are discussed.

ABSTRACT | Background. Showing people a personal ultraviolet (UV) photograph depicting skin damage can be an effective method for changing sun protection cognitions and behaviors. Purpose. We examined whether people opt not to see their UV photograph if given a choice. We also examined predictors of avoidance of skin damage feedback. Methods. College students (N  = 257) completed questionnaires, viewed example UV photographs, and received the opportunity to see a UV photograph of their face. Results. Over one-third of participants opted not to see their UV photograph. Greater perceived risk of sun damage and having fewer coping resources corresponded with greater avoidance, particularly among participants who reported infrequent sun protection behavior. Conclusion. The health benefits of UV photography are realized only if people are willing to view the photograph. Our findings suggest the need for interventions that increase receptivity to viewing one’s UV photograph.

ABSTRACT | Objectives. Research has indicated that both peers and siblings influence adolescents’ alcohol use (e.g., Windle, 2000, Appl. Dev. Sci., 4, 98). The present two studies examined whether social comparison orientation (SCO) moderates the effects of perceived friend and sibling alcohol use on adolescents’ alcohol use cognitions and behaviours. Design and Methods. Two studies examined the role of SCO as a moderator of social influence (perceived friend alcohol use in Study 1 and both perceived friend use and sibling-reported alcohol use in Study 2) on prototype perceptions and willingness to drink alcohol (Studies 1 and 2) as well as actual alcohol consumption (Study 2) among early adolescents. Results. In Study 1, cross-sectional results indicated that SCO moderated the effect of perceived friend alcohol use on favourable images of drinkers and willingness to drink. Study 2 found that SCO moderated the effects of perceived friend use and sibling use on favourable images of alcohol users, willingness to use alcohol, and change in alcohol use over 3 years such that adolescents who reported engaging in social comparison more often reported greater willingness, more favourable images, and increases in alcohol use when perceived friend use or sibling use was high. Conclusions. These studies highlight the importance of SCO as a moderator of susceptibility to the social influences of friends and siblings and may hold important implications for adolescent alcohol use prevention programmes and models of health risk behaviour.

ABSTRACT | Background. Many health risks are associated with both genetic and behavioural factors. Concerns have been raised that learning about such multifactorial risks might have detrimental effects on health-related beliefs, cognitions, and affect. However, experimental evidence is sparse. Objective. To explore the effects of reading an online news article about the discovery of a genetic basis for nicotine addiction. Methods. Smokers (N = 333) were recruited from the psychology subject pools of two major universities. Participants were randomly assigned to read one of three news articles: one describing a genetic basis for nicotine addiction and lung cancer obtained from a national news source, one altered to indicate no genetic basis for nicotine addiction and lung cancer, or one unrelated attention control. Participants then completed an online questionnaire, which assessed smoking-related cognitions and affect, and beliefs about nicotine addiction, quitting smoking, and whether the harms of tobacco use are delayed. Results. There was no statistically significant influence of experimental condition on smoking-related cognitions/affect (ps > .05, g2 < .002), beliefs about addiction and quitting (Wilks’ k = .98, p = .66, g2 = .01), or delayed harm (ps > .05, g2 < .002). Conclusion. Reading an online news article about the presence or absence of a genetic basis for nicotine addiction was not found to change smoking-related cognitions/affect or beliefs among young adult smokers. Concerns about negative effects of multifactorial risk information on health beliefs may be premature. Nevertheless, to effectively translate basic genomics research into effective public health practice, further research should investigate these issues in different populations, via different communication modalities, and for different health outcomes.

ABSTRACT | This study examined the impact of ultraviolet (UV) photography, cognition versus affect, and age on women’s sun-related cognitions and a proxy measure of sun protection behavior. Participants (N = 114) were recruited via public advertisements and came to the lab to view a photo showing their UV damage. In addition, some participants received instructions to focus on either their thoughts (cognition) or feelings (affect) about their photograph before completing the survey. Women in the affect condition reported the lowest perceived vulnerability to skin cancer and highest absent/exempt beliefs (beliefs that one is unlikely to develop skin cancer if she hasn’t already). Condition by age interactions showed that, among those in the cognition and control (no instructions) conditions, older women reported higher perceived vulnerability and lower absent/exempt beliefs, and took more sunscreen than younger women. However, older women reported higher absent/exempt beliefs and higher sun-risk willingness than younger women in the affect condition.

​ABSTRACT | Prospective data tested a “differential mediation” hypothesis: The relations (found in previous research) between perceived racial discrimination and physical health status versus healthimpairing behavior (problematic substance use) are mediated by two different types of affective reactions, internalizing and externalizing. Method: The sample included 680 African American women from the Family and Community Health Study (M age  37 years at Time 1; 45 years at Time 4). Four waves of data were analyzed. Perceived discrimination was assessed, along with anxiety and depression (internalizing) and hostility/anger (externalizing) as mediators, and physical health status and problematic substance use (drinking) as outcomes. Results: Structural equation modeling indicated that discrimination predicted increases in both externalizing and internalizing reactions. These affective responses, in turn, predicted subsequent problematic substance use and physical health status, respectively, also controlling for earlier reports. In each case, the indirect effects from discrimination through the affective mediator to the specific health outcome were significant and consistent with the differential mediation hypothesis. Conclusions: Perceived racial discrimination is associated with increases in internalizing and externalizing reactions among Black women, but these reactions are related to different health outcomes. Changes in internalizing are associated with self-reported changes in physical health status, whereas changes in externalizing are associated with changes in substance use problems. Discussion focuses on the processes whereby discrimination affects health behavior and physical health status.

ABSTRACT | Two studies examined racial identity (RI) as a protective factor against substance-related cognitions and substance use among Black adolescents and young adults living in high versus low percentage Black social environments. Method: Using structural equation modeling techniques, Study 1 examined longer term effects of RI on substance use cognitions and behaviors among 720 Black adolescents. Study 2 examined the impact of RI and percentage Black peer environment on alcohol use among 203 Black young adults. Results: Study 1 revealed that RI was prospectively associated with lower levels of perceived friends’ use and lower favorability of the substance user prototype and, in turn, lower substance willingness and use, but only among Black adolescents in predominantly White neighborhoods. These adolescents also reported greater access to substances. In Study 2, low RI Black young adults who reported predominantly White peer environments reported the highest levels of alcohol use. Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of RI among Black youth and the impact of the social context on the health risk behaviors of adolescents and young adults. This research also demonstrates the utility of social psychological models, such as the prototype–willingness model, to examine mediating and moderating effects of individual differences and contextual factors on health risk cognitions and behavior. Theoretical and applied implications of the results are discussed.

ABSTRACT | Public health information and educational interventions regarding human papillomavirus (HPV) have focused on the link between vaginal sex and cervical cancer among women. Many people are unaware that HPV can be transmitted through oral sex or that HPV causes oral cancers. Given that HPV infections and unprotected oral sex are increasing, research on oral sex-related HPV risk is important. This study examined the effect of a brief informational intervention regarding HPV and oral sex on the sexual risk cognitions of young adults. College students (N¼238) read information on HPV, oral sex, and oral cancer or no information. Participants then completed measures of oral sex and HPV knowledge, oral sex willingness, HPV vaccination likelihood, and risk perceptions. Participants who read the information on HPV and oral sex and cancer (compared to those who did not) reported greater knowledge, perceived risk and concern, and lower willingness to engage in oral sex. These effects were only significant among women. However, men reported a higher likelihood of future HPV vaccination compared to women who had not yet received the vaccine. Focusing on oral sex and cancer, this study adds to research investigating ways to reduce HPV infections.

ABSTRACT | Objectives. Nonmedical prescription stimulant (NPS) use is an important problem among university students. The present studies applied the prototype-willingness model (Gibbons, Gerrard & Lane, 2003) to academic-based NPS use and examined the impact of academic versus health information on university students’ NPS use cognitions. Design and Methods. Study 1 used the prototype-willingness model to examine cognitions associated with academic-based willingness to use NPS. In Study 2, participants were randomly assigned to a control condition or to read information on the negative academic or negative health effects of NPS use. Beliefs, willingness, and expectation of engaging in future NPS use, prototypes of users, and perceived vulnerability were assessed. Results. Students without a prescription for stimulants or a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) participated in each study (Ns = 555; 166). Twenty to thirty per cent reported NPS use, primarily for academic reasons. Controlling for past NPS, alcohol, and marijuana use: friends’ NPS use, prototypes, perceived vulnerability, and negative health and positive academic beliefs were associated with willingness to use NPS in Study 1. Study 2 demonstrated that participants in the academic-information condition reported the lowest willingness and expectations as well as the least favourable prototypes of NPS users. Participants in the health-information condition reported the highest perceived vulnerability. Conclusions. These studies highlight: the utility of using a health model framework to examine NPS cognitions, the importance of examining beliefs about the behaviour, and the potential for academic and health information to reduce risky NPS use cognitions.

ABSTRACT | Objective: Two studies examined the impact of racial discrimination on HIV-risk (substance use and risky sex) behaviors (Study 1) and cognitions (Study 2) among African Americans. Methods: Study 1 examined longer-term effects of cumulative discrimination on HIV-risk behaviors among 833 adolescents. In Study 2, Black young adults were excluded or included in an online game (Cyberball) by White peers. Results: Study 1 revealed that discrimination was associated with greater HIV-risk behaviors contemporaneously, and with an increase in these behaviors over a 3-year period. In Study 2, excluded participants tended to attribute their exclusion to racial discrimination and reported greater risky sex and substance use willingness. In Study 1, the relation between discrimination and risky sex was mediated by substance use behavior. In Study 2, substance use willingness mediated the relation between perceived discrimination and risky sex willingness. Conclusions: Findings highlight the importance of examining the effects of discrimination on HIV risk among Black youth. The studies also demonstrate the utility of assessing social-psychological processes when examining the effects of discrimination on HIV-risk cognitions and behavior.

ABSTRACT | This study applied aspects of the Theory of Reasoned Action and the Prototype/Willingness model to understand cognitions associated with the use of illegal performance-enhancing substances. There were two study objectives. One was to investigate whether the illegal-is-effective heuristic (i.e. belief that illegal performance-enhancing substances are more effective than legal performance-enhancing substances) affects willingness to use illegal performance-enhancing substances. The second was to examine whether attitudes, norms, and prototypes influence the willingness and intentions to use illegal performance-enhancing substances. The illegal-is-effective heuristic was a significant predictor of willingness but was not a significant predictor of intentions. Implications for future research and prevention efforts are discussed.

ABSTRACT | Three studies tested the hypothesis that the relation between perceived racial discrimination and substance use reported in previous research is moderated by use of substances as a coping mechanism. Studies 1 and 2 were experimental studies of African American adolescents’ and young adults’ reactions to a discrimination experience. Results revealed that those who endorsed substance use-as-coping reported more willingness to use substances after experiencing discrimination. Study 3 was a prospective study of the relation between perceived discrimination and substance use over an 8-year period in African American adolescents. Results demonstrated that discrimination is associated with increases in substance use, but only among adolescents who endorse substance use-as-coping. Together, these three studies provide evidence that experiencing discrimination has both short- and long-term detrimental effects on African Americans’ substance use, but significantly more so for those who adopt a pattern of using substances as a coping mechanism.

ABSTRACT | Perceived racial discrimination, self-control, anger, and either substance use or use cognitions were assessed in 2 studies conducted with samples of African American adolescents. The primary goal was to examine the relation between discrimination and self-control over time; a 2nd goal was to determine whether that relation mediates the link between discrimination and substance use found in previous research. Study 1, which included a latent growth curve analysis with 3 waves of data, indicated that experience with discrimination (from age 10 years to age 18 years) was associated with reduced self-control, which then predicted increased substance use. Additional analyses indicated anger was also a mediator of this discrimination to use relation. Study 2, which was experimental, showed that envisioning an experience involving discrimination was associated with an increase in substance-related responses to double entendre words (e.g., pot, roach) in a word association task, especially for participants who were low in dispositional self-control. The effect was again mediated by reports of anger. Thus, the “double mediation” pattern was discrimination 3 more anger and reduced self-control 3 increased substance use and/or substance cognitions. Results are discussed in terms of the long-term impact of discrimination on self-control and health behavior. Implications for interventions aimed at ameliorating the negative effects of discrimination and low self-control on health are also discussed.

ABSTRACT | The primary objective of the present study was to examine whether the need to belong moderates the relation between perceived descriptive norms for best friend alcohol use and alcohol-related cognitions outlined in the Prototype Willingness model (i.e., willingness, attitudes, and prototype favorability) among college students. Three hundred forty-six college students (197 female) completed the survey. Regression results indicated that the effect of perceptions of best friend alcohol use on risk cognitions was stronger among students reporting a greater need to belong. The findings suggest that interventions utilizing descriptive norms may be more efficacious among those higher in a need to belong.

ABSTRACT | This study examined the impact of an ultraviolet (UV) photography intervention and masculinity on college men’s sun protection cognitions, including: perceived vulnerability to skin damage, attitudes toward sun protection, willingness to engage in sun protection behaviors, and intentions to receive a skin cancer exam. After completing a baseline survey, participants (N = 152) viewed a black-and-white photo of their face. Half also viewed a photo showing their UV damage. Participants then completed a second survey assessing sun protection cognitions. Regressions revealed that masculinity predicted lower sun protection cognitions, and men in the UV photograph condition reported higher sun protection cognitions. Masculinity by condition interactions showed that the positive effect of UV photography was stronger among masculine men. Negative associations between masculinity and sun protection cognitions were significant only among men who did not receive the intervention. Findings suggest that UV photography is a promising sun protection intervention among masculine men.

ABSTRACT | Two studies examined racial identity (RI) as a protective factor against substance use cognitions among African American young adults who either envisioned or experienced racial discrimination. In Study 1, participants envisioned a discrimination or nondiscrimination scenario, and then their willingness to use drugs and an indirect measure of substance use were assessed. Discrimination was associated with higher levels of use cognitions among participants with low levels of RI. In Study 2, participants were excluded or included in an online game (Cyberball) by White peers and then engaged in an RI-affirmation or control writing task. Participants attributed this exclusion to racial discrimination. Excluded participants who did not affirm their RI reported the highest levels of substance use cognitions, especially if they had engaged in higher levels of previous substance use. These findings highlight the importance of RI among Black young adults and the impact of discrimination on health behaviors.

ABSTRACT | The present study examined the impact of socially based descriptive norms on willingness to drink alcohol, drinker prototype favorability, affective alcohol attitudes, and perceived vulnerability for alcohol-related consequences within the Prototype Willingness model. Descriptive norms were manipulated by having 189 young adolescents view experimenter-created profile pages from the social networking site Facebook, which either showed older peers drinking or not. The results provided evidence that descriptive norms for alcohol use, as portrayed by Facebook profiles, significantly impact willingness to use, prototypes, attitudes toward use, and perceived vulnerability. A multiple mediation analysis indicated that prototypes, attitudes, and perceptions of use mediated the relationship between the content of the Facebook profile and willingness. These results indicate that adolescents who perceive that alcohol use is normative, as evidenced by Facebook profiles, are at higher risk for cognitions shown to predict alcohol use than adolescents who do not see alcohol use portrayed as frequently on Facebook.

ABSTRACT | The relation between perceived racial discrimination and substance use was examined in 2 studies that were based on the prototype-willingness model (Gibbons, Gerrard, & Lane, 2003). Study 1, using structural equation modeling, revealed prospective relations between discrimination and use 5 years later in a panel of African American adolescents (M age 10.5 years at Time 1 [T1]) and their parents. For both groups, the relation was mediated by anger and/or hostility. For the adolescents, it was also mediated by behavioral willingness, and it was moderated by supportive parenting. Study 2 was a lab experiment in which a subset of the Study 1 adolescents (M age  18.5 years) was asked to imagine a discriminatory experience, and then their affect and drug willingness were assessed. As in the survey study, discrimination was associated with more drug willingness, and that relation was again mediated by anger and moderated by supportive parenting. Implications of the results for research and interventions involving reactions to racial discrimination are discussed.

ABSTRACT | Background The risk for skin cancer is increased among older males and outdoor workers who have high levels of ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Purpose This study was designed to examine the long-term efficacy of UV photography interventions on male outdoor workers, the potential mediators of its impact, and the efficacy of UV photography and skin cancer vs. aging information with this population. Methods One hundred forty-eight male outdoor workers were randomly assigned to one of four intervention conditions or a control condition in a two by two plus one factorial design. The men in the intervention conditions received or did not receive a UV photo of their face and watched either a photoaging or skin cancer educational video. Participants completed pre-intervention, immediate postintervention, and 2-month and 1-year follow-up assessments. Results Analysis of covariance and structural equation modeling revealed that participants in the UV photography and cancer information interventions reported higher levels of sun protection cognitions, which were significant partial mediators of increases in sun protection behaviors and decreases in skin color. Conclusions This study provides evidence for effective sun protection interventions on male outdoor workers that may help reduce skin cancer risk.

ABSTRACT | Although dual-process models in cognitive, personality, and social psychology have stimulated a large body of research about analytic and heuristic modes of decision making, these models have seldom been applied to the study of adolescent risk behaviors. In addition, the developmental course of these two kinds of information processing, and their relation to the development of self-regulation are not well understood at this time. The current paper reviews what leading dual-process models have to say about the development of analytic and heuristic decision making, and their implications for adolescent risk behavior. In addition, it reviews research on the prototype willingness model of adolescent decision making—a dual-process model designed specifically to address non-intentional, but volitional adolescent risk behavior. It also discusses the implications of dual-process models for intervention research.

ABSTRACT | The affiliation preferences of 151 adult heavy smokers who joined smoking cessation groups were assessed at the 1st group session and were then used to predict their smoking status 6 and 12 months later. Those who preferred to be in groups with other smokers who were having relatively little trouble quitting were more likely to be successful than were those who preferred others who were having more difficulty quitting. This prospective effect was mediated by psychological distancing from the image of the typical smoker: Preference for others who were doing well was associated with a decrease in perceived similarity to the typical smoker, which, in turn, was associated with successful cessation. Implications of these findings for cessation groups and social comparison theory are discussed.

ABSTRACT | Objective This study used the prototype/willingness model of adolescent health risk behavior to examine factors related to onset of smoking. Methods Two waves of data were collected from a panel of 742 African American children (mean age = 10.5 at Wave 1) and their primary

caregivers. Measures included cognitions outlined by the prototype model as well as self-reports of smoking by the parent and child. Results Structural equation modeling revealed a pattern consistent with expectations generated by the prototype model. The relation between contextual, familial, and dispositional factors—including neighborhood risk, parental smoking, and children’s academic orientation—and the initiation of smoking at Wave 2, two years later, was mediated by the children’s cognitions. Primary among these cognitions were the children’s images of smokers and children’s willingness to smoke. Conclusions Smoking cognitions mediate the impact of important distal factors (such as context, family environment, and disposition) on the onset of smoking in children. Perhaps more important, it is possible to predict onset of smoking in African American children as young as age 10 by assessing the cognitive factors suggested by the prototype model.

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