This study focused on how social-psychological and demographic factors combined to predict information-holding about cardiovascular disease prevention among subscribers and non-subscribers to a suburban Midwest cable television system. Data come from one of three education communities of the Minnesota Heart Health Program, a research and demonstration project to reduce community levels of heart attack and stroke. A principal component factor analysis of the total sample (N = 635) extracted two factors from variables operationalizing involvement, self-efficacy and salience: 'orientation to health behavior change', and 'orientation to disease consequences'. Separate factor analyses for non-subscribers (N = 228) and subscribers (N = 407) showed a similar factor structure for the former, but the addition of a 'transitional orientation' factor for the latter characterized by less orientation to health behavior change, but greater awareness of increasing information about heart disease prevention. These factors together with variables of gender, age, education, occupation, family composition and television use were entered into multiple regression analyses for the total sample (P ≦ 0.001), and separately for subscribers (P ≦ 0.01) and non-subscribers (P ≦ 0.01). In general, gender, education and age emerged as significant predictors with health orientation and television exposure marginally predictive among cable-subscribers only.
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The authors wish to thank Professors Phyllis Pirie and Robert Jeffery, University of Minnesota, and Beth Howard-Pitney, Stanford University, for their suggestions and assistance in organizing this article. This research was conducted as part of the Minnesota Heart Health Program, a project supported by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant HL-25523.