Publication Date

2008-08-06

Availability

Open access

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Communication Studies (Communication)

Date of Defense

2008-05-15

First Committee Member

Victoria Orrego Dunleavy - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Glendene Lemard - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Darlene Drummond - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Thomas Steinfatt - Committee Member

Abstract

Cognitive behavioral violence prevention (CB-VP) parenting groups are commonly used for the primary and secondary prevention of violence. These groups use persuasive messages that target violence-related attitudes and cognitions, with the expectation that this will result in behavior change. Despite their frequent use as family violence prevention strategies, little is known about the actual messages being exchanged in CB-VP groups and how participants perceive and recall these messages. This study analyzes messages aimed at changing behaviors as recalled by Hispanic participants in federally funded Fatherhood groups in Miami, Florida. Applying concepts from violence prevention, behavior change messages were classified by topic, type of behavior targeted, compliance gaining strategies (Marwell & Schmitt, 1967), and sources of influence Wheeless, Baraclough & Stewart, 1983). The most common topics reported by participants included parenting role, discipline, communication content and spending time with children. Over a third of the appeals targeted behaviors that were not observable actions, but rather cognitive acts such as thinking, reflecting, and paying attention. Reward and punishment were the most frequently used compliance gaining strategies, followed by moral and expertise strategies. Most appeals were based on the expected outcomes of the proposed behaviors as the main source of influence. The results of this study provide a greater understanding of the motivations used to support behavior change messages in violence prevention parenting groups.

Keywords

Behavior Change; Cognitive Beahvioral Violence Prevention Groups; Family Violence; Compliance Gaining Appeals; Sources Of Influence; Fatherhood;

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