Medical Drama Viewing and Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors: Understanding the Role of Health Locus of Control Beliefs and Education Level

Sungsu Kim, Young Min Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The present study advances the understanding of how medical drama viewing influences healthy lifestyle behaviors (e.g., smoking, exercising, and consuming vegetables) by examining the role of the health locus of control (HLOC) beliefs and education level. An analysis of nationally representative data reveals that watching medical dramas is positively associated with chance and powerful others’ HLOC beliefs. In addition, healthy lifestyle behaviors are positively associated with the internal HLOC belief and are negatively associated with the chance and powerful others’ HLOC beliefs. Research findings demonstrate that there are indirect effects of medical drama viewing on these behaviors via chance and powerful others’ HLOC beliefs. The indirect effect through the powerful others’ HLOC belief is also contingent on the education level. The implications for the role of HLOC beliefs and education level in terms of the effects of medical dramas on health-promoting behaviors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-401
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 21

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study reanalyzed data from the Annenberg National Health Communication Survey (ANHCS), which was administered by Knowledge Networks and supported by the Annenberg Schools at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California. The ANHCS recruited a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults (18 years and above) through random digit dialing and address-based sampling. The survey was conducted on the Internet; thus, free hardware and Internet access were offered to the selected respondents who were not equipped with home computers and access. The ANHCS survey was conducted every month from January of 2005 to December of 2012 to capture the national trends of health-related outcomes, including health behaviors, health-related behavioral intention to media exposure, health knowledge and beliefs, and health policy preferences and beliefs (Annenberg National Health Communication Survey, 2013).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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