Public relations professor Hsuan “Jade” Huang recently presented a paper, COVID-19 Vaccination Intention among HBCU Students: Significance of Trust, Benefits, Barriers, and COVID Vaccine Information from Health Belief Model Perspective, at the 72th annual International Communication Association (ICA) conference in Paris, France. The ICA conference is a premier conference in the Journalism and Communication field, and this year was held in a hybrid format. The study investigated HBCU students’ COVID-19 vaccination intention in the early vaccine rollout period. It found that earned trust towards the healthcare systems, the government and the vaccine is a significant predictor of vaccination intent, and it worked in tandem with perceived benefits of vaccination, which are to protect the HBCU students and their family and loved ones, to facilitate the preventive health behavior.
According to the study, Black young adults perceived low priority to get the vaccines, coupled with frequent exposure to COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and low self-efficacy to delay getting the vaccine. The study was set in the backdrop of unprecedented COVID impact on African Americans, concern for vaccine hesitancy among African Americans, and college students’ tendency to avoid adhering to COVID prevention measures. A structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to analyze the causal relationships among the health belief model (HBM) and related variables.
Dr. Huang’s research interest is in the health communication area. According to Huang, she has conducted and published research focused on the investigation of COVID-19’s impact on Black young adults both in COVID prevention and mental health.
“I have published an article in the Journal of Community Psychology examining factors affecting HBCU students’ emotional well-being in the early lockdown period,” she explained. “In addition, I have two chapters on “Message Tailoring” and “Campaign Efficacy vs Effectiveness” which are in print to appear in the International Encyclopedia of Health Communication this October.”