The Effects of Catechesis as Inoculation against Negative Media Reports about the Catholic Church


Material Information

The Effects of Catechesis as Inoculation against Negative Media Reports about the Catholic Church
Physical Description:
1 online resource (105 p.)
Eseke, Anthony
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( M.A.M.C.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Mass Communication, Journalism and Communications
Committee Chair:
Leslie, Michael
Committee Members:
Rodgers, Ronald
Hackett, David G


Subjects / Keywords:
attitude -- audience -- bolstering -- catechesis -- catholic -- church -- consonance -- decoding -- discipleship -- dissonance -- dulles -- elaboration -- elm -- encoding -- evangelization -- experiment -- exposure -- hall -- homiletics -- homilies -- homogeneity -- inoculation -- inoculatory -- mcguire -- negative -- neutral -- overall -- peripheral -- rcia -- religion -- resistance -- routes -- short-term -- silence -- sponsor -- text -- transcendence -- valence
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )


In the last two decades the Catholic Church, especially in the United States of America, has faced serious image crises in the media over the allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Church employees. This study sought to examine the effects of these negative media reports on the attitudes of Catholics toward the Church, and the interactions of catechesis in these opinion shifts. The objective of the study was to provide resources for the Catholic Church and other organizations encountering similar media related issues, to understand the dynamics of these news reports on Catholics, and to understand how the faith and attitudes of the Catholics can be fostered through media inoculatory catechesis (faith formation instruction). Audience Reception Theory, Cognitive Dissonance Theory, Selective Exposure Theory, Inoculation Theory, and Elaboration Likelihood Model all provided the conceptual framework for this inquiry. An experimental method was used for the study. In five parishes in the diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, catechumens and their sponsors were randomly placed in two groups, control and treatment. The former watched a neutral documentary, Football High, and the latter, watched The Silence, which is a video on the alleged sexual abuses in St. Michael’s Church, Alaska. After exposure to the videos, participants were asked to write essays on their thoughts and feelings, and questionnaires were also administered to them. The essays and questionnaires 14 provided data that produced psychometric scales for measuring routes of attitude processing, short-term attitudes and overall attitudes toward the Church. The statistical analyses showed that after exposure to a negative media report, the short-term attitudes of Catholics toward the Church were affected, but their overall attitudes toward the Church were not; that there was a correlation between the directional shifts of the short-term attitudes and those of the overall attitudes after such exposures. The results indicated that a negative media report on the Church is able to swerve the valence, that is attractiveness (positive valence) or aversiveness (negative valence), of the Church among Catholics; and that upon exposure to a negative media report on the Church, Catholics centrally elaborate their attitudes toward the Church. The results equally indicated that the effects of negative media reports about the Church on Catholics were homogenous irrespective of whether they were urban or rural, highly or fairly educated, male or female. Finally, it was found that there was a negative correlation between the level of catechesis of a Catholic and the effects a negative media report had on his/her overall attitudes toward the Church. Based on the findings, the study suggested that the Catholic Church has to intentionally promote media inoculatory catechesis that prepares adherents to engage certain media reports, and yet not waver in their faith in Christ and the Church.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Adviser: Leslie, Michael.
Electronic Access:
Statement of Responsibility:
by Anthony Eseke.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: