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Health Communication Research Measures

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Edited By Do Kyun Kim and James W. Dearing

This volume presents state-of-the-art reporting on how to measure many of the key variables in health communication. While the focus is on quantitative measures, the editors argue that these measures are centrally important to the study of health communication. The chapters emphasize constructs, scales, and up-to-date reports and evidence about key social science constructs and ways of measuring them, whether your interest is in patient-provider dyadic communication, uncertainty management, self-efficacy, disclosure, social norms, social support, risk perception, health care team performance, message design and effects, health and numerical literacy, communication satisfaction, social influence and persuasion, stigma, health campaigns, reactance, or other topics. Students, researchers, and policymakers will find this book an accessible resource for planning and reviewing research studies and proposals.
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21. Sensation Seeking

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21. Sensation Seeking

Scales for Adolescents and Emerging Adults

CLAUDE H. MILLER,University of Oklahoma

Sensation seeking (SS) (Zuckerman, 1979, 1994) is an arousal-based motivational state of interest to health communication researchers through its association with impulsivity, substance use, unsafe sex, and other forms of risky health behavior. A large research literature has characterized SS as a key personality trait predictive of risk-taking behaviors, particularly among young people (e.g., Arnett, 1998; 2005; Donohew, Lorch, & Palmgreen, 1991; Miller & Quick, 2010; Stephenson & Palmgreen, 2001), that peaks during adolescence (ages 10–18), and remains high throughout emerging adulthood (ages 19–25, Arnett, 2004, 2007). However, beyond emerging adulthood, Zuckerman (1974) reports a negative correlation between age and SS, and Galvan et al. (2007) report a significant negative correlation between chronological age and impulsivity, a construct closely related to SS. Similarly, Steinberg et al. (2008) assert age differences in sensation-seeking follow a curvilinear pattern, with sensation seeking increasing between ages 10 and 15, then remaining stable or declining thereafter.

Originally arising out of sensory deprivation research (Curtis & Zuckerman, 1968; Hocking & Robertson, 1969), SS has been associated with sensory arousal and the need for physical and mental stimulation (Zuckerman, 1979, 1994). Similar to stimulus seeking (Kish & Busse, 1968; Kish & Leahy, 1970), which is associated with exploration, curiosity, experience seeking, and sociability, SS has been measured—both as a set of personality constructs and as...

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