, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 705-743

Culturally Sensitive AIDS Educational Videos for African American Audiences: Effects of Source, Message, Receiver, and Context

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The importance of using culturally sensitive educational materials in HIV-related interventions with racial and ethnic minority groups is widely recognized. However, little empirical research has been conducted to assess the relative effectiveness of different techniques for creating culturally sensitive AIDS educational videos. Two field experiments with three samples of African American adults (N = 174, 173, and 143) were conducted to assess how source characteristics (race of communicator), message characteristics (multicultural message vs. culturally specific message), and audience characteristics (racial distrust and AIDS-related distrust) influence proximate (perceptions of the message's credibility and attractiveness) and distal (AIDS-related attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral intentions) output variables for AIDS educational videos. In Study 1, an AIDS video with a culturally specific message was rated as more credible, more attractive, and of higher quality than was a video with a multicultural message. The multicultural message was rated less favorably when delivered by a White announcer than when the announcer was Black. In Study 2, the same pattern was replicated with a second community sample and a campus-based sample. Study 2 also indicated that a multicultural message might be more effective if delivered in a culturally specific context, namely, after audience members watch a culturally specific video. Minimal changes were observed in distal outcome variables. It is argued that influencing proximate output variables is necessary, though not sufficient, for effecting long-term change in AIDS-related attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.