Assistant Professor of Health Communication

Contact Info

614 Caldwell Hall

Chelsea Ratcliff Bush (PhD, University of Utah) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Georgia. She uses quantitative empirical methods to explore a range of questions in health and science communication, particularly about unintended effects of risk messages. Current projects examine social and ethical consequences of communication approaches in genomic and precision medicine. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Ratcliff Bush worked as a health journalist and marketing copywriter. Her scholarly work has been published in Communication ResearchHuman Communication Research, Journal of CommunicationCommunication MonographsCommunication TheoryJournal of Health Communication, Risk AnalysisGenetics in Medicine, and Public Health Genomics.

Dr. Ratcliff Bush's areas of expertise include:

Health communication

Risk communication

News coverage of biomedical science

Message effects

Mass media health campaign design and evaluation

Ethical and social consequences of communication

Selected Publications:


Ratcliff, C. L. & Sun, Y. (2020). Overcoming resistance through narrative communication: Findings from a meta-analytic review. Human Communication Research. doi:10.1093/hcr/hqz017


Ratcliff, C. L. (2019). Characterizing reactance in communication research: A review of conceptual and operational approaches. Communication Research. doi:10.1177/0093650219872126


Ratcliff, C. L., Jensen, J. D., Scherr, C. L., Krakow, M., & Crossley, K. (2019). Loss/gain framing, dose, and reactance: A message experiment. Risk Analysis. doi:10.1111/risa.13379


Maggio, L. A., Ratcliff, C. L., Krakow, M., Moorhead, L., Enkhbayar, A., & Alperin, J. P. (2019). Making headlines: An analysis of US government-funded cancer research mentioned in online media. BMJ Open. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025783


Ratcliff, C. L., Kaphingst, K. A., & Jensen, J. D. (2018). When personal feels invasive: Foreseeing challenges in precision medicine communication. Journal of Health Communication. doi:10.1080/10810730.2017.1417514