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Title: The persuasiveness of British accents : enhancing parental self-efficacy to manage children's oral health behaviours
Author: Adams, Zoe
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 8735
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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This interdisciplinary research builds on Pine et al.'s (2016) oral health intervention, 'Bedtime Brush and Read Together to Sleep' (BBaRTS), conducted among families in Tayside, Kent and Newham. It uses children's storybooks to improve parents' self-efficacy to manage their child's oral health behaviours. The storybooks are being adapted into animated cartoons with voice-overs. Therefore, my research question is: What are the persuasive effects of British accents in each BBaRTS trial area? Study one tests the persuasiveness of six British accents (Received Pronunciation (RP), Multicultural London English (MLE), Yorkshire English, Dundee English, Irish English and Estuary English) among 114 parents (Tayside, n = 46; Kent, n = 34; Newham, n = 34). It was hypothesised that there would be a persuasive effect of accent, which differs by area. Participants completed an accent identification task, along with implicit and explicit measurement procedures. In Tayside, Estuary English was more persuasive than MLE (p = 0.002). In Newham, MLE was more persuasive than Dundee English (p = 0.001), Yorkshire English (p = 0.011) and RP (p = 0.011). In Kent, there was no persuasive effect of accent. Findings are examined in the context of Gawronski and Bodenhausen's (2006, 2011) Associative-Propositional Evaluation model. This study also explores individual differences and reaction time in relation to accent persuasiveness, but results suggest that neither factor plays a fundamental role. Study two applies the most and least persuasive accent in Newham (MLE and Dundee English) to animated versions of the BBaRTS storybooks. 37 participants from Tower Hamlets - a demographically similar East London borough - completed an experiment based on the self-validation hypothesis (Petty et al. 2002). It was hypothesised that accent would affect participants' confidence in their thoughts about the oral health messages, and in turn their attitudes. MLE was indeed associated with higher thought confidence than Dundee English (p = 0.001), but not with more favourable attitudes to the oral health messages. Results are discussed in relation to the participants' English proficiency. This research contributes to the growing work on implicit cognition in sociolinguistics, and furthers our understanding of how accent interacts with persuasion. Crucially, it emphasizes the value of interdisciplinary research by connecting linguistics and public health.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: oral health ; health behaviour ; British accents