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ItemCoping with Obesity: The Use of Problem and Emotion Focused Strategies on Weight Watchers.com Message Boards(Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Communication, College of Liberal Arts, 2013)This study examined the communication associated with overweight and obese individuals on Weight Watchers.com message boards. Data was systematically sampled from two separate Weight Watcher.com message boards and then coded for 14 various problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies. Findings indicate that on-line posters used more emotion-focused coping strategies (i.e., seeking support for emotional reasons and communicating acceptance) than problem-focused coping strategies (i.e., active coping and planning). Further, people were using the Weight Watchers site primarily as a way to elicit support and communicate encouragement rather than as a means to receive information about actual strategies to lose weight.
ItemThe stickiness of weight stigma: An examination of residual weight stigma, stigma targets, and willingness to date.(Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Communication, College of Liberal Arts, 2017-02-23)This research examined the stickiness of stigma related to being overweight and dating. Three studies explored whether residual weight stigma exists by comparing being overweight to other stigmatized conditions. The first study showed little evidence that overweight was a stigmatizing condition, with participants showing similarities in willingness to date someone who is overweight compared to other physical or medical conditions. There was partial support in the second study for the prediction that overweight was a stigmatizing condition in comparison to conditions related to physical appearance. The third study indicated that there is a tendency for participants to attribute greater personal responsibility for the overweight condition compared to other conditions. Taken together, the results provided little evidence for residual stigma associated with the overweight condition and dating preferences.
ItemUnderstanding the relationship between family communication and the development of weight stigma(Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Communication, College of Liberal Arts, 2016-02-22)Background: This study examined the relationship between family communication and weight stigma. The Family Communication Patterns Theory was used as a framework to explain the relationships between two dimensions of family communication (i.e., conversation orientation and conformity orientation) and antifat attitudes (i.e., physical unattractiveness and weight blame). Participants and Procedure: A total of 585 college-aged participants completed an online questionnaire. We used the following instruments: body mass index (BMI), Antifat Attitudes Scale (AFAT), Revised Family Communication Patterns Scale (RFCP). Results: Significant relationships were found between the two dimensions of family communication and antifat attitudes. Conversation orientation was negatively associated with antifat attitudes and conformity orientation was positively associated with antifat attitudes. In addition, pluralistic families were less likely to stigmatize the overweight and obese by demonstrating less discrimination with physical attraction and personal weight blame. Conclusions: These findings highlight the important association between family communication and antifat attitudes. Families that endorse a pluralistic family type (i.e., high conversation orientation and low conformity orientation) appear to engage in the least amount of discrimination with regard to weight stigma. These families are not only less discriminating of others, they perhaps bring about more awareness and information to family members as compared to other family types.
ItemEthos in Sports: An Aristotelian Examination Focused on Source Credibility and the Modern Day Athlete(Middle Tennessee State University, 2015)The current study analyzed source credibility in a sports related context. A review of previous literature was undertaken in order to highlight the central findings focused on the dimensions of competence, goodwill, and trust worthiness. Quantitative methods were then utilized as a means to empirically test whether unconfirmed reports of performance-enhancing drug use could negatively impact perceptions of athlete ethos. Findings revealed that athletes who were inconclusively linked to performance- enhancers were evaluated less favorably in terms of their overall competence, goodwill, and trustworthiness. The implications from this study indicate that clean athletes who are wrongfully accused should proactively communicate their innocence to the general public. Athletes who are not clean should employ various face and image restoration strategies in order to effectively manage their public credibility. Study limitations and directions for future research were appropriately addressed within the present scholarship.
ItemThe relationship of self-talk frequency to communication apprehension and public speaking anxiety.(College of Liberal Arts, Middle Tennessee State University, 2015)This research examines how self-talk is related to the nature and prevalence of communication apprehension and public speaking anxiety. In Study 1, we examined the relationship between general communication apprehension (CA) and the frequency and nature of general self-talk. Results showed that individuals with high CA were cognitively “busier” than low CA individuals, reporting higher levels of several kinds of self-talk. In Study 2, we examined how self-talk pertaining to the preparation for an upcoming speech related to public speaking anxiety. Results showed that self-critical and social-assessing self-talk were positively related to people’s anxiety scores, whereas self-reinforcing self-talk was negatively associated with their anxiety. Implications of these results for the management of public speaking anxiety are discussed.