Men's intentions to reduce female partners' risk of HPV and cervical cancer
Guided largely by the extended parallel process model, three studies were conducted (two pilot studies and one main study) to determine the effects of perceived anticipated guilt and message personalization condition on men's intentions to engage in partner protective health behaviors to reduce the threat of human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer to their partner's health. The behaviors of interest in this investigation were condom use and partner communication about cervical cancer screening and the HPV vaccine. Two pilot studies preceded the main study to develop a high-threat and high-efficacy threat to other message that contained anticipated guilt and message personalization manipulations. Based on the results of the pilot study, four messages were selected for use in the main study.
In the main study, 311 men completed an online self-administered questionnaire. Message manipulation checks revealed that neither the anticipated guilt nor the message personalization manipulation produced differences in men's perceptions across message conditions, though the mean scores were in the expected direction. As hypothesized, men's self-reported perceptions of anticipated guilt were positively related to intentions to engage in health protective behavior. The data support research that suggests that anticipated emotions can influence individuals' intentions. Contrary to expectations, neither message personalization condition nor its interaction with perceptions of anticipated guilt was significantly related to men's partner protective health behavior. Though the message manipulations did not function as intended, this study provides a starting point from which future research can build on to explore the effects of anticipated guilt and message personalization on men's intentions.