Date Approved

5-16-2003

Embargo Period

5-10-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Fitzgerald, Suzanne Sparks

Subject(s)

Cancer--Epidemiology; Government publicity

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

In response to the increasing request for cancer cluster investigations and the challenges in communicating the complexities of the studies and results, the author conducted case studies of childhood cancer cluster investigations in Dover Township, New Jersey and Fallon, Nevada to review state government communication and responses from residents. The purpose was to assess the residents' understanding and acceptance of the communication and to recommend guidelines for similar investigations based on lessons learned by officials and on recommendations by health risk communication experts in the public and private sectors. The study included content analyses of newspaper articles, intercept surveys, mail and e-mail surveys, and interviews with state officials, citizen committee leaders, and reporters.

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