Characteristics and influences of H1N1 communication on college students

Alexis Koskan, Caroline Foster, Jack Karlis, India Rose, Andrea Tanner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess how college students received and responded to H1N1 pandemic emergency preparedness information and to assess college students' knowledge and attitudes towards H1N1 during the height of the H1N1 epidemic and corresponding public health response to the outbreak. Design/methodology/approach: Using a case study approach, the researchers conducted five focus groups at a large Southeastern US university between October 20-29, 2009. Findings: In order to effectively communicate emergency preparedness information to college students, universities should rely on interpersonal communication and mediated communication from trusted sources. College students need to understand the health-related emergency, the risk of the emergency, basic steps to avoid it, and only pertinent cues to action. Oversaturation of this information can lead college students to lessen their perceived importance of the disaster prevention information. Research limitations/implications: Focus groups were conducted during only two consecutive weeks of the H1N1 epidemic, and snowball sampling may have led to sample bias. Originality/value: This research was conducted during the height of the H1N1 pandemic, and is the only study to date that explores college students' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors towards H1N1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-432
Number of pages15
JournalDisaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication
  • Emergency measures
  • Emergency preparedness
  • H1N1
  • Health communication
  • Natural disaster
  • Pandemic
  • Students
  • United States of America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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