Complementarity in health information media usage by college students: an application of media complementarity theory in the context of health information

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Communication


Department of Communication


Advisor: James Robinson


With roughly 80% of Americans using the Internet, research into the Internet's impact on other media outlets is of growing importance. The present study employs Media Complementarity Theory to explain media consumption behavior and also attempts to expound upon the theory. The present research aims to test Media Complementarity Theory with a college student sample, and attempts to isolate mechanisms key to understanding consumers' complementary use of media. A sample of 185 undergraduates was solicited to answer surveys that would assess their use of different media channels. The study utilized a newly developed survey instrument. Additionally, the Internet was divided into discrete channels. Results supported Media Complementarity Theory.


College students Health and hygiene, Mass media in health education, Digital media Social aspects, Information behavior, Internet in education

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