The relationship of self-efficacy scores of fifth-grade children to changes in food choices and nutrition knowledge after a nutrition education program Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/jq085p089

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  • The self-efficacy construct has been determined to be an effective method of stimulating desired eating behavior in diabetics and obese adults and exercise behaviors in pulmonary rehabilitation patients. Although the self-efficacy construct has been shown to mediate eating habits, practical classroom application of the construct has been rarely used in this area. A review of literature indicated that no studies have been reported on the effect of self-efficacy on food-related behaviors of children. The primary purpose of this research was to determine if, and to what extent, self-efficacy predicts changes in food choices of fifth-grade children. The effect of self-perceptions of competence on the nutrition knowledge of children after a nutrition education intervention program was also assessed. Forty-five fifth-grade children in two classrooms participated in this study. Their self-perception profile, food choices, nutrition knowledge, and food acceptance were measured both before and after the nutrition education unit. A 25 item nutrition knowledge questionnaire was also administered to the children before and after the nutrition education program. Change in knowledge in the cognitive domain was measured by differences in scores on the nutrition knowledge pretest and posttest. Students kept five-day food records for the school lunch items consumed. The fruit and vegetable intakes of the students were estimated from these food records. Chi-square analyses were performed on the data to determine the relationship between self-efficacy as the independent variable and change in food choices, and food acceptance and change in nutrition knowledge as the dependent variables. The 3 x 3 contingency tables indicated that there were no significant relationships between selfefficacy and change in food choices, food acceptance and nutrition knowledge. The findings provide limited support for the usefulness of the self-efficacy construct in understanding and predicting eating behavior change. It is recommended that further investigations of the predictive capability of the self-efficacy expectancy be conducted in children of this age group to better understand its relationship with food choices and implications for nutrition education for school children.
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