Communication ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-10-2019


In this dissertation, I conducted a pilot study that applied positive deviance (Singhal, 2011; Pascale, Sternin, & Sternin, 2012) findings from my master’s thesis (Boyd, 2015) to an entertainment-education (Singhal & Rogers, 1999) driven intervention in a Hispanic community (Baezconde-Garbanti et al., 2014; Murphy et al., 2013; Wang & Singhal, 2016), using an interactive narrative (Green & Jenkins, 2014) to develop achildren’s book. In the current pilot study, I created a children’s book The Sweet Taleusing extensive formative research and created a framework to aid in the development offuture Hispanic children’s books on diabetes. To evaluate The Sweet Tale, I conducted in- depth interviews of 15 children aged 5-10 who live in El Paso, Texas. I learned that interactive narrative serves as an effective exploratory instrument for discoveringchildren’s beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge about diabetes. Most of the children chose to disclose the diabetes reality of a character in the children’s book The Sweet Tale. Most of the children still believe that diabetes is “bad” and is caused by eating too much sugar. An active element in the children’s book using the acronym “TELL” was easily recalled by most of the children. The pilot study uncovered tension and connection with identity and relational constructions that are present in diabetes and presented elements from the social framework identified by Cline (2011). This community-based project serves as a catalyst for creating an entry point in dialogue between children and adults about diabetes.




disclosure, diabetes, interactive narrative, entertainment education, children' s book, positive deviance

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Judith White

Second Committee Member

Dr. Jaelyn deMaria

Third Committee Member

Dr. Magdalena Avila

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Arvind Singhal