Health Communication Research Cluster

Chair: Dr. Lynda Dixon
(updated February 2, 2006)

The graduate faculty from the School of Communication Studies at BGSU are from the departments of Interpersonal Communication, Journalism and Telecommunications. The topics studied by members of the health communication research cluster span departments, areas of study in our disciplines, and theoretical/methodological choices. Our researchers use social scientific and humanistic methods or combine the two. Examples of topics studied by cluster members include a social marketing approach to the development of an anti-binge drinking campaign for college students, managing the negative social implications of leprosy, the role of media and peers in promoting the desire to be thin and eating disorders, smoking and youths, physician/patient interaction, coping skills and stress for family caregivers for relatives with Alzheimer's disease, self-management strategies and problems for people with diabetes, public health issues and private health management for people who are HIV positive or with AIDS, economic causes of unequal access to health, cultural and international differences between patients and caregivers.

Our work is collaborative with our local colleagues in the School, with peers in other departments, and our graduate and undergraduate students. Some of us have been working as research teammates for several years; others are just starting collaborations with their colleagues; and we are continuing research projects that have included collaborations with faculty in communication and other departments at other universities in this country and elsewhere in the world. The list of collaborators' departments highlights the interdisciplinary nature of health communication research: sociology, psychology, medical practitioners/researchers, gerontology, American culture studies, social work, human relations, public health, corrections, and others.

If you would like to contact any member of this research group, you may call the office for the School of Communication Studies: 419-372-8349 or contact the coordinator for the Health Communication Research Group Lynda Dee Dixon, Ph.D., 419-372-7171,

The Health Communication Research Group (HCRG) includes the following faculty:

Interpersonal Communication Department
Julie A. Burke (Ph.D., University of Illinois), Associate Professor and Chair
Lynda Dee Dixon (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma), Professor

Department of Journalism
Terry L. Rentner (Ph.D., Bowling Green State University), Associate Professor and Chair

Department of Telecommunications
Srinvas R. Melkote (Ph.D., University of Iowa), Professor
Sung-Yeon Park (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison), Assistant Professor
Ewart C. Skinner (Ph.D., Michigan State University), Associate Professor and Chair
Gi Woong Yun (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison), Assistant Professor


* Burke, J., Earley, M., Dixon, L., Wilke, A., & Puczynski, S. (in press). Patients with diabetes speak: Exploring the implication of patients' perspectives for their diabetes appointments. Health Communication.
* Dixon, L. (2004). A case study of an intercultural health care visit: An African American woman and her White male physician. Women and Language, 27, 45-52.
* Dixon, L. (2003). Interactions between Native American women and their White male doctor: The stages of a health care visit at a public health facility. Intercultural Communication Studies, 12(1), 43-58.
* (Continuing projects with Julie Burke and doctoral students (Amy Smith and Brett Billman) on effects of Alzheimer's disease on families with grants in excess of $75,500 from Fraternal Order of Eagles)
* (Continuing project with Julie Burke and doctoral student (Brett Billman) on patient management of diabetes 2 with grants in excess of $15,500 from the Fraternal Order of Eagles)
* Krishnatray, P., & Melkote, S. (Eds.). (forthcoming). Combating leprosy: Real life case studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
* Melkote, S., & Rao, S. (2001). Communication for development in the Third World: Theory and practice for empowerment. New Delhi: Sage.
* Reaves, S., Bush Hitchon, J., Park, S., & Yun, G. (2004). You can never be too thin - or can you? The effects of digital manipulation of fashion models' body size, leg length, and skin color. Race, Gender, and Class, 11(2), 140-155.
* Reaves, S., Bush Hitchon, J., Park, S., & Yun, G. (2004). If looks could kill: The ethics of digital manipulation of fashion models and attitudes of readers. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 19(1), 56-71.
* Rentner, T. L. (forthcoming). Social norms theory in the public relations discipline. In T. Hansen-Horn (Ed.), Public relations theory. Warrensburg, MO: Central Missouri State University Press.
* Rentner, T., & Drake, J. (2004). Reaching out for social change: Integration social norms theory and frame analysis in alcohol-reduction campaigns. In O. Leontovich & Parrish-Sproul, J. (Eds.), Perspectives on communication. Volgograd, Russia: Volgograd State Pedagogical University.
* (12 state and federal grants on high-risk drinking totaling over $600,000 (U.S. Department of Education and Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services)
* Velu, S., Melkote, S., & Skinner, E. (2003). Vulnerability of female commercial sex workers to HIV infection: Examination of factors related to the use of condoms. The Kentucky Journal of Communication, 22(2).

Updated: 12/01/2017 10:57PM