Social cognitive theory in an after-school nutrition intervention for urban Native American youth.

Authors: Rinderknecht K, Smith C
Publication Year: 2004
Last Updated: 2010-01-21 08:14:08
Journal: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Keywords: nutrition intervention; Native American children and adolescents; after-school program; dietary self-efficacy; body mass index (BMI); Kruskal-Wallis test; Mann-Whitney analyses; Bonferroni correction; fat & sugar intake; Social Cognitive Theory; personal, environmental, behavior constraints

Short Abstract:

Objective: To improve dietary self-efficacy through a 7-month nutrition intervention for Native American  children (5 to 10 years) and adolescents (11 to 18 years).

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To improve dietary self-efficacy through a 7-month nutrition intervention for Native American children (5 to 10 years) and adolescents (11 to 18 years). DESIGN: Single-group pretest, posttest design. Setting: An after-school program in a local community center for urban Native American youth. PARTICIPANTS: 104 urban Native American youth (65 children and 39 adolescents). INTERVENTION(S): A 9-month project with pre-post evaluation and a 7-month intervention. MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURE(S): Dietary self-efficacy and 24-hour recalls. ANALYSIS: Descriptive statistics were computed for comparability analysis of dietary self-efficacy and diet at baseline. For the normally distributed data, independent t tests were used for gender comparisons, whereas 1-way analysis of variance with post hoc Tukey adjustment was used to compare responses among body mass index (BMI) categories. Non-normally distributed data were analyzed with Kruskal-Wallis tests with post hoc pairwise Mann-Whitney analyses. For non-normally distributed data, the Bonferroni correction was used, and the P values were set at .025 for gender comparisons and .016 for BMI comparisons. Wilcoxon signed rank tests determined whether fat and sugar intake changed significantly between pre- and postintervention time points among adolescents. RESULTS: Both children and adolescents exhibited moderate levels of dietary self-efficacy at baseline, with no variation by BMI. The nutrition intervention significantly improved the self-efficacy of children. Overweight children significantly improved their dietary self-efficacy. The intervention was not successful among adolescents. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Social Cognitive Theory is an effective model from which to explore influential constructs of health behavior. This project demonstrates that a nutrition intervention provided at monthly intervals is an effective way to significantly improve dietary self-efficacy among urban Native American children. The lack of intervention effect among adolescents reiterates the need for greater comprehension of personal, environmental, and behavioral constraints, influencing dietary self-efficacy and behavior.

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