Development of an education curriculum and a self-efficacy scale for dairy nutrition in adolescents

by Dawson, Erin Elizabeth.

Abstract (Summary)
Rebecca Pobocik, Advisor Only 10% of adolescent girls and 30% of boys meet recommendations for adequate dairy and calcium intake. Furthermore, there are few curricula focused on dairy nutrition or instruments that measure intervention effectiveness for adolescents. The purpose of this study was to: 1) develop a curriculum for junior high school students emphasizing the health benefits of dairy, and 2) to develop an appropriate measurement scale. A convenience sample of 63 seventh and eighth graders were assigned to control (n = 18) and intervention groups (n = 45) by class period. The intervention, based on Social Cognitive Theory, consisted of five consecutive nutrition education lessons about requirements, food sources, and health benefits of dairy. The Dairy Self-Efficacy Scale (DSES) was developed; pilot tested for reliability; and then administered to all subjects at baseline, one week post-testing, and five week follow-up. The DSES was designed to measure adolescent’s knowledge and confidence for behavior change related to dairy food consumption along with demographic and food frequency information. Food preference and pantry inventory data were collected from the intervention group. The intervention group significantly improved their total self-efficacy scores (125 points possible) from baseline (81.4 ± 8.60) to post-test (88.7 ± 8.69), r (54) = .72, p < .0001, and results remained high at follow up assessment (87.8 ± 9.84), r (55) = .65, p<.0001. No changes were exhibited in the control group: 81.8 ± 13.11, 80.6 ± 12.87, and 81.9 ± 13.04, at the same time periods, respectively. Students improved knowledge of dairy foods and reported highest preference for 2% milk, low-fat vanilla flavored milk, and yogurt parfaits. At least 50 percent of the students had 2% milk, chocolate milk, flavored yogurt, and various cheeses in the home. iv Average consumption of milk remained low (less than 1 glass per day), but yogurt consumption improved slightly in the intervention group. Results also indicated that the Dairy Self-Efficacy Scale was a reliable (? = .72) instrument for assessing students’ confidence to change behavior for dairy food consumption. Further research is needed to be able to generalize the results of this study to a larger audience. v
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:dairy products in human nutrition self efficacy


Date of Publication:

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