Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2016

Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Marian Meyers

Second Advisor

Natalie Tindall

Third Advisor

Patricia Davis

Fourth Advisor

Tiffany King


African American children are more likely than white children to be in poor health, even when controlling for socioeconomic status, and the CDC reports that African American youth have the highest prevalence of obesity, which can lead to other diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Given that African American children are the heaviest viewers of television, it can be an important means of providing culturally appropriate ways to reach them and provide positive health information. This study uses the animated show, Doc McStuffins, as the entertainment-education context for African American preschool viewers. Doc McStuffins emphasizes the importance of taking care of oneself through strategic placement of positive health messages. This study aims to understand whether or not the messages are understood by the show’s target audience, and whether or not they impact the behavior of the target audience, which is key to the success of any entertainment-education campaign.