Reframing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Studying Culture to Identify Communication Challenges and Opportunities

Nathaniel Kendall-Taylor, Marissa Fond


Implicit cultural understandings challenge those working to increase public awareness and support for programs to prevent and address fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Understanding these cultural beliefs reveals key challenges that communicators face; it also helps identify opportunities to foster public engagement and build support for policies and programs that are important for reducing the prevalence of FASD as a public health issue. Through a series of interviews with members of the public in Manitoba, Canada, we identify the cultural models that members of the Manitoban public draw on to make sense of this issue. These models and their implications are used to create a set of recommendations that can improve understanding of the issue, increase issue salience, and generate support for solutions. While the research presented is specific to Manitoba, findings have significance for those working on FASD in other areas and for those working on other public health and science translation projects.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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