This study explored the effectiveness of three different persuasive message strategies designed for the purposes of this study – emotional appeal, fear appeal, and informational appeal – as used in a health campaign. This health campaign’s focus was on the general public’s knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors concerning celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. Using experimental and survey methodologies, the researcher quantitatively analyzed data collected from 103 participants from a small liberal arts college in Ohio. General knowledge of celiac disease and the gluten-free diet was affected by the emotional appeal, whereas more specific knowledge was affected by the fear appeal. Furthermore, some interactions were found between message type and participants’ previous knowledge about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. These findings were supported utilizing theories such as Protection Motivation Theory, the Theory of Reasoned Action, the Health Belief Model, the Extended Parallel Process Model, and the Elaboration Likelihood Model.


Johnson, Michelle


Communication Studies


Health Communication


gluten-free, celiac, persuasive message strategies, protection motivation theory, health belief model, elaboration likelihood model, extended parallel process model, theory of reasoned action, health campaign

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Rachel K. Rieger