Keeping it natural: does persuasive magazine content have an effect on young women's intentions for birth?

Kate Jaclyn Young, Yvette D Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Information in the popular media tends to be biased toward promoting the benefits of medicalized birth for low-risk pregnancies. We aimed to assess the effect of communicating the benefits of non-medicalized birth in magazine articles on women?s birth intentions and to identify the mechanisms by which social communication messages affected women?s intentions for birth. A convenience sample of 180 nulliparous Australian women aged 18?35 years were randomly exposed to a magazine article endorsing non-medicalized birth (using either celebrity or non-celebrity endorsement) or organic eating (control) throughout June?July 2011. Magazine articles that endorsed non-medicalized birth targeted perceived risk of birth, expectations for labor and birth, and attitudes toward birth. These variables and intention for birth were assessed by self-report before and after exposure. Exposure to a magazine article that endorsed non-medicalized birth significantly reduced women?s intentions for a medicalized birth, regardless of whether the endorsement was by celebrities or non-celebrities. Changes in perceived risk of birth mediated the effect of magazine article exposure on women?s intentions for a medicalized birth. Persuasive communication that endorses non-medicalized birth could be delivered at the population level and may reduce women?s intentions for a medicalized birth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447 - 466
Number of pages20
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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