Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 149–152 | Cite as

A Model of Mechanisms Underlying the Influence of Media on Health Behaviour Norms

  • Lise RenaudEmail author
  • Caroline Bouchard
  • Monique Caron-Bouchard
  • Laurette Dubé
  • Danielle Maisonneuve
  • Lyne Mongeau


Media-based interventions are common in health promotion, yet their conceptual underpinnings tend to be based on a simple linear model of direct influence on individuals’ health behaviour. Recent studies have suggested that the processes through which media influence health behaviours are actually far more complex. This paper presents a conceptual model of how the medias influence the emergence and maintenance of the social norms that can contribute to shaping health behaviours. Through positive (amplifying) and negative (dampening) loops, a total of six potential influence pathways are proposed, and the role of opinion leaders and specialists is specified. Future directions for empirical tests of the model are identified.

MeSH terms

Social change mass media health behaviour communications media 


Les interventions médiatiques sont fréquentes en promotion de la santé. Leurs fondements conceptuels tendent à être basés sur un modèle linéaire d’influence ayant un effet direct sur les comportements sociosanitaires des individus. Or, de récentes recherches suggèrent que les processus médiatiques influençant les comportements sont davantage complexes. Cet article présente un modèle conceptuel au sujet des mécanismes médiatiques façonnant les normes et les comportements. À travers un positionnement positif et négatif, le modèle propose six voies d’action et définit le rôle des spécialistes et des leaders d’opinion. Des pistes de recherche sont proposées.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lise Renaud
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Caroline Bouchard
    • 1
    • 2
  • Monique Caron-Bouchard
    • 1
    • 5
  • Laurette Dubé
    • 1
    • 6
  • Danielle Maisonneuve
    • 1
    • 4
  • Lyne Mongeau
    • 1
    • 7
  1. 1.Groupe de recherche médias et santéCanada
  2. 2.Direction de la santé publique Montréal CentreCanada
  3. 3.Université de MontréalCanada
  4. 4.Département des communicationsUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Collège Jean-de-BrébeufCanada
  6. 6.McGill UniversityCanada
  7. 7.Institut national de santé publique du QuébecCanada

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