410.657.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 4th Term | 3 Credit(s)
MW 10:30:00 AM
  • Contact Information
    Stella Babalola
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Critique leading theories and models of sexual risk reduction from a communication perspective,
    • Compare the antecedents of sexual risk-taking in adolescence and adulthood,
    • Identify the characteristics of effective sexual risk-reduction communication strategies,
    • Analyze empirical data on sexual risk-taking, and
    • Develop a strategy for sexual risk-reduction
  • Course Description

    This course is designed to strengthen students’ understanding of sexual risk-taking. It provides a solid foundation in communication strategies for sexual risk-reduction from an international perspective. The literature and examples for the course emphasize HIV, STI and teen pregnancy risk reduction. The course adopts a seminar format and consists in readings, discussions, presentations, video viewing, case studies, and critiques of literature on sexual risk-taking and protective behaviors. In addition, the course includes hands-on literature review and/or secondary analysis of existing data on sexual risk-taking and development of a communication strategy.  This year, students will be sel-select into working groups for the purpose of data analysis/literature review and strategy development. The analysis/literature review will focus on Haiti, South Africa, Russia and Haiti. Students will select a country and a health topic early in the course.

  • Intended Audience

    MPH, MHS and doctoral students interested in health communication.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Other Master-level students are also welcome. They have found it very useful in the past!

  • Methods of Assessment
    Written assignments and class participation.
  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Welcome Message

    This is a hands-on course in which you will learn to develop theory-informed and evidence-based communication strategies for adolescent sexual risk reduction. This course is participatory: students will be encouraged to share their experiences. However, I will lead most of the sessions with PowerPoint presentations prepared based on relevant literature on theory and practice. Be prepared to learn and be challenged to rethink your views about what communication can or cannot do! 

  • Course topics


    • Introduction to Communication for Health Behavior  Change
    • Strategic approach to communication
    • Theories of behavior change and their application to communication programs
    • Determinants of adolescent sexual risk-taking
    • Effective risk reduction communication strategies for young people
    • Examples of risk-reduction interventions for young people
    • Decision-making models to identify potentially effective and cost-effective strategies
  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at