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The Pediatric Forum |

Presentation Style as Important as the Message—Reply

Geoffrey C. Williams, MD, PhD; Edward L. Deci, PhD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000;154(3):314-315. doi:.
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Dr Friedman's letter reviews new findings concerning links between tobacco use by pregnant women and health risks to their newborns, suggesting that they support our point1 that the style of presentation is as important as the message. Actually, the points in Dr Friedman's letter are concerned more with the message of health risks from smoking than with the style of presenting it.

Our article distinguished autonomous motivation, which means doing a behavior (eg, not smoking) with a true sense of choice and willingness, vs controlled motivation, which means feeling pressured to do the behavior. Because autonomous motivation has been associated with greater behavioral persistence and more positive affect than controlled motivation, we suggested that there are important advantages to having teenagers be autonomously motivated to not smoke.

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