Monique Mitchell Turner Ph.D.

Monique Turner

Chair of the Department of Communication

  • Communication
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Dr. Monique Mitchell Turner is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Michigan State University. Prior to this appointment, she served as Associate Dean of MPH programs at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. Turner is trained in persuasion and employs that expertise in health and risk communication; with a particular focus on message design and evaluation, risk perception, and cognitive processing of health risk communication (including risk judgment and decision making). Turner’s main focus is on the role that emotions play in the underlying psychosocial processes explaining message effects; her work has examined the effects of guilt, shame, anger, and fear (etc) in the cognitive impacts of public health messaging. Turner is the author of the Anger Activism model—a behavioral theory explaining when anger is constructive versus deleterious. As the former director of the Center for Risk Communication Research at the University of Maryland, Turner’s research has been funded by organizations such as Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN), and the Centers for Disease Control. Turner is the former Senior Editor of Health Communication and is the former associate editor of Communication Research Reports. She is the past chairperson of both the Communication and Social Cognition Division of the National Communication Association and the Health Communication Division of the International Communication Association.


Turner oversees the Department of Communication at MSU. Previously, she oversaw the MPH program at GW as well as the online MPH at GW. She is the former director of both the DrPH and the PhD Social and Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Prevention and Community Health at GW.

Research and Teaching

The focus of Turner’s research is on the role of emotion in message design and message processing. Recently, her work has been examining the intersections of discrete emotions in information seeking, attention and processing (via eye-tracking), bio-physiological responses, and social norms. Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to contact her about research opportunities.


Turner, M. M., Richards, A., Bessarabova, E., & Magid, Y. (2019). The effects of anger appeals on systematic processing:  The moderating role of efficacy. Communication Reports, online version only. DOI: 10.1080/08934215.2019.1682175

Turner M.M., Johnson AC, Lantz P. (in press) The impact of self-efficacy on risk aversion in the context of surgical weight loss decision scenarios. Clinical Obesity.

*Ilakkuvan V, Johnson A, Villanti AC, Evans WD, Turner M. (2018). Patterns of social media use and their relationship to health risks among young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health. Published online September 2018.

Turner, M.M., *Jannah, N., Kahan, S., Gallagher, C., & Dietz, W. (2018). Current knowledge of obesity treatment guidelines by health care professionals. Obesity, 26(4), 665-671. DOI 10.1002/oby.22142

*Schindler-Ruwisch, J. M., *Leavitt, L. E., Macherelli, L. E., Turner, M. M., & Abroms, L. C. (2018). Motivating smoking cessation text messages: Perspectives from pregnant smokers. Maternal and child health journal, 22(6), 822-829. DOI 10.1007/s10995-018-2452-y

Sutton, J., Vos, S. C., Wood, M. M., & Turner, M.M. (2018). Designing effective tsunami messages: Examining the role of short messages and fear in warning response. Weather, climate, and society, 10(1), 75-87. DOI 10.1175/WCAS-D-17-0032.1

Turner, M. M., *Mabry-Flynn, A., *Shen, H., *Jiang, H., *Boudewyns, V., & *Payne, D. (2018). The effects of guilt-appeal intensity on persuasive and emotional outcomes: The moderating role of sponsor motive. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 30(2), 134-150. DOI 10.1080/10495142.2017.1326345

*Landry, M., Turner, M.M, Vyas, A., & Wood, S. (2017). Social media and sexual behavior among adolescents: Is there a link? JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, 3(2). DOI  10.2196/publichealth.7149 PMID 28526670

*Leavitt, L., Abroms, L., Johnson, P., *Schindler-Ruwisch, J., Bushar, J., Singh, I., ... & Turner, M.M. (2016). Recruiting pregnant smokers from Text4baby for a randomized controlled trial of Quit4baby. Translational behavioral medicine, 7(2), 157-165. DOI 10.1007/s13142-016-0450-4 PMID 27909881

*Ilakkuvan, V*., Turner, M.M., Cantrell, J., Hair, E. and Vallone, D., (2016). The relationship between advertising-induced anger and self-efficacy on persuasive outcomes: A test of the Anger Activism Model using the Truth Campaign. Family & Community Health, 40(1), 72-80. DOI 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000126

*Mabry, A. & Turner, M. M. (2015). Do sexual assault bystander interventions change men’s intentions?  Applying the theory of normative social behavior to predicting bystander outcomes. Journal of Health Communication, 21(3), 276-292. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2015.1058437.

*Borsky, A., McDonnell, K., Turner, M. M., & Rimal, R. N. (2015). Assessing bystander behavior intentions (BBI) towards friends to prevent dating violence: Development of the BBI-Friends scale through concept mapping and exploratory factor analysis, Violence and Victims, DOI: 10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-13-00196

*Landry, M., Vyas, A., Turner M. M., Glick, S., & Wood, S. (2015). Latino adolescents’ social media utilization: Implications for mobile health interventions. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 3(3), e89. DOI: 10.2196/mhealth.4374. PMID 26420553

Mays D., Turner M. M., Zhao X., Evans W. D., Luta G. L., & Tercyak K. P. (2014).  Framing pictorial cigarette warning labels to motivate young smokers to quit. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 17(7), 769-775. ntu164. DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntu164. PMID 25143295

Turner, M. M., *Skubisz, C., *Silverman, M., *Pandya, S., & *Austin, L. (2014). Predicting visual attention to nutrition information on food products: The influence of motivation and ability. Journal of Health Communication, 19(9), 1017-1029. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2013.864726.

Contact Information

404 Wilson Road, Room 473B