September 20, 2020

Johnson-Young Presents Research at Conference

Elizabeth Johnson-Young, Assistant Professor of Communication, presented research at this year’s Southern States Communication Association conference in Greenville, South Carolina. The paper, presented in the Communication Theory division, presented the results of a theoretical model to predict intentions to breastfeed. Combining the theory of planned behavior and uses and gratifications theory, the research provides a first test of a more thorough understanding of the impacts on breastfeeding intentions.

Johnson-Young Publishes Article

An article by Elizabeth Johnson-Young, assistant professor of communication, has been published in the journal Qualitative Research Reports in Communication. The article, “Help Me Understand What I Can Expect While I’m Expecting: What Women in a Prenatal Yoga Class Communicate About Body Image, Fitness, and Health,” reports the results of pilot study using ethnography and in-depth interviews with women participating in a prenatal yoga class.

The results indicated several themes regarding what characterizes the way women in the prenatal yoga class talk about body image, health, and fitness during pregnancy. These themes include: expressions of body image and fitness as communal, expressions of desire for relationship-building with women in similar situations, expressions of desire to maintain pre-pregnancy fitness, expressions that redefine “fitness” and “health,” expressions of concern about post-pregnancy fitness and weight loss, and expressions of self-consciousness. The article provides practical and theoretical implications for future study.

The study will be published in the Fall 2016 journal, but is now available online.


Johnson-Young Receives Top Paper Award at Communication Assn. Conference

Elizabeth Johnson-Young, assistant professor of communication, received a top paper award in the Theory and Methodology division of the Eastern Communication Association. The paper, Uses and Gratifications During Pregnancy and Their Impact on Breastfeeding Intentions, was presented at the association’s annual conference held in Baltimore, Md.

The paper utilized uses and gratifications, traditionally employed as a descriptive media theory, to help explain breastfeeding intentions among surveyed pregnant women. Starting with a qualitative approach to the uses and gratifications data, a typology of media uses was constructed for data analysis. Findings demonstrated the importance of rethinking traditional uses and gratifications research and some ways that media messages might impact breastfeeding intentions on their own and through interactions with other important variables, such as body satisfaction.

Elizabeth Johnson-Young Wins National Communication Association Award

Elizabeth Johnson-Young, assistant professor of communication, was recently awarded the prize for the Top Student Paper in the Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association. The paper, “Predicting Intentions to Breastfeed for Three Months, Six Months, and One Year Using the Theory of Planned Behavior and Body Satisfaction,” was written and submitted while completing her doctoral studies in the spring of 2015 and was presented at the organization’s national conference in Las Vegas in November.


Johnson-Young’s research surveyed pregnant women regarding their intentions to breastfeed their babies for three recommended periods of time. Findings demonstrated the strength of the theory of planned behavior constructs in predicting these intentions, as well as a possible boomerang effect of perceived subjective norms, which might also be conceptualized as perceived social pressure. Including body satisfaction prior to and during pregnancy also appeared to be a significant moderator of these intentions, providing a new way to understand both theoretical influences and practical considerations for this specific population in making health decisions.