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Shafer’s research agenda focuses on the intersection of communication, persuasion, and health behavior theories. She has two complimentary streams of research:

  • Theory-based health communication campaign design, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Individual message processing and effects specifically related to health outcomes.

Her topical focus often involves cancer or vaccinations, and she has also studied communication about sexual health, tobacco, diabetes, transportation safety, and eating disorders. She often approaches research questions from an interdisciplinary perspective that draws from communication, public health, social psychology, and consumer behavior.