April Colloquium: Dr. Holley Wilkin, Georgia State University

Exploring the Role of the Built Environment in Community-Based Health Communication Theory and Research

April 11, 2018 | 3:30-5:00 PM | CMU 126

Health communication campaign messages often aim to improve health outcomes by encouraging preventative health behaviors and/or discouraging unhealthy behaviors. The built environment—i.e., the manmade features of an environment like sidewalks, parks, parking lots, and the like—can facilitate or inhibit people’s ability to perform the behaviors being promoted.

In this talk, Dr. Wilkin will describe an interdisciplinary research project that explores how an urban redevelopment project (connecting neighborhoods and parks through multi-use trails and public transportation) might impact communication and health outcomes in low-income neighborhoods. Grounded in communication infrastructure theory, this work will inform future community-based health communication interventions.

Speaker Biography: Dr. Wilkin’s applied health communication research program revolves around reducing health disparities in diverse urban environments. She approaches health communication from an ecological prospective—exploring individual, community and societal level factors influencing health knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Dr. Wilkin’s research addresses three major areas: 1) improving health communication strategies for reaching people suffering from health disparities; 2) examining the relationship between individuals’ communication connections (e.g., interpersonal, mediated, new technologies), exposure to specific entertainment or news media messages, and health outcomes (e.g., knowledge or behavior change); and 3) developing community-based health interventions.