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Jeffrey Niederdeppe PhD

Jeff Niederdeppe is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar in the department of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He received his doctorate from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. He received a BA in communication from the University of Arizona in May 1999 and an MA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2001.

Dr. Niederdeppe spent two years at RTI International, a not-for-profit research firm, before returning to Penn to complete his Ph.D. His research explores the effects of mass media campaigns and health news coverage on health behavior and policy. Much of his published work has focused on the effectiveness of large-scale anti-tobacco campaigns and anti-drug media campaigns.

Specifically, he has tested how various combinations of audio-visual features can enhance anti-tobacco message effectiveness, explored cognitive pathways between anti-tobacco campaign exposure and behavior change, and examined the role of news coverage in shaping tobacco control policy. His dissertation examines how existing health knowledge, social integration, and media use patterns moderate cancer-related news coverage effects on health behaviors.

As a Health and Society Scholar, Dr. Niederdeppe plans to combine insights from social epidemiology and health communication to study how social capital and community structural characteristics enhance, impede, and/or interact with health media messages to explain growing health disparities in the US.

In turn, he plans to use this knowledge to develop media campaign and media advocacy strategies aimed at changing structural and social determinants of health through policy change.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar Program
Picture from Beyond Knowledge Gaps: Media Campaigns and Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Behavior video
October 29 2007