Self-Control-Centered Empowerment Model: Health Consciousness and Health Knowledge as Drivers of Empowerment-Seeking through Health Communication
This article proposes a self-control-centered model to explain why certain people perceive health messages as credible, attend to health messages, and change their behaviors in accordance with the suggestions in those messages. Such reactions imply empowerment seeking or empowering strategies. The proposed model predicts that people with self-control are more likely to seek empowerment, such that those with stronger self-control are more likely to adopt empowering strategies. The model also identifies two driving forces that prompt health-related self-control: health consciousness and health knowledge. Moreover, it postulates that two values, conservation and self-transcendence, trigger health consciousness, which further enhances the adoption of empowering strategies, and bonding and bridging social capital both increase health knowledge, which encourages these empowering strategies even further. Study 1 uses responses from a representative sample of Taiwanese participants to test the proposed model; Study 2 confirms the prediction, among a sample of Taiwanese college students, that health consciousness and health knowledge drive self-control. After exposure to health news, people with greater health-related self-control respond with more empowering strategies.