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Jennifer Lueck

Jennifer Lueck
Assistant Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • Health Communication
  • BLTN 209E
Professional Links


Dr. Lueck’s research tests message effects and effectiveness by integrating strategic health communication principles and psychology. In order to motivate audiences to engage in particular health behaviors, her research aims to better understand the target audience of health messages by investigating attention, biased cognitive and affective processes, and memory of individuals affected by mental illness.


People are motivated to interpret information in ways that sustain positive beliefs about themselves.  Interested in difference, Dr. Lueck investigates how and under what circumstances mental illness induces interpretations that sustain negative beliefs about the self and explores implications for health promotion messages targeting these individuals (e.g., what should we say to people with mental illness and how should we say it?).  To do this, Dr. Lueck tests the effects of health messages at each stage of the persuasion process:  attention, interpretation, memory, and behavior.  Dr. Lueck’s research addresses the following topics:  evidence-based health promotion and behavior change, cognition and emotion, mental illness and suicide risk, related co-morbidities (e.g., substance abuse), media effects, and emerging technologies (e.g., eye-tracking).

Courses Taught

  • COMM 664: Media Processes and Effects
  • COMM325: Persuasion
  • COMM689: Mass Media & Health
  • COMM470: Health Message Design​

Representative Publications

  • Lueck, J. (2019). What’s the risk in seeking help for depression? Assessing the nature and pleasantness of outcome perceptions among individuals with depressive symptomatology. Health Education and Behavior46(3), 463-470. doi:10.1177/1090198118811898.
  • Lueck, J., Silva, T., Brannon, G., & Stephenson, M. (2019). Depression’s response to threatening health messages: An examination of emotions and attention patterns. Patient Education and Counseling, 102(6), 1178-1186. doi:
  • Lueck, J. (2019). Should we activate risk perceptions in the context of suicide prevention? Examining fear appeals, help-seeking determinants, and help-seeking sources among university employees who suffer from depression. Prevention Science, 20(6), 884-893. doi: 10.1007/s11121-019-0979-9.