The Psychosocial Determinants Of Diet Quality And Dietary Intake: A Social Cognitive Approach To Examining The Relationships Between/Among Personal And Environmental Factors And Diet Quality And dietary Intake In Working Women

by Alish, Carolyn Jean

Abstract (Summary)
The majority of women today work outside the home, and the fastest growing segment of working women is the working mother. Many women have retained responsibility for caring for their families and their households despite their fulltime employment. Little is known about the relationship between these multiple roles and her health behaviors. This study examined the relationships among attitudes toward and knowledge of nutrition, outcome values and expectancies, self-efficacy, social support, physical activity level, body image, self-esteem, body mass index, demographic characteristics and diet quality and dietary intake of calcium, iron, folate, total fat, fiber, and kilocalories in 356 fulltime working women 36.3 ± 6.1 years of age. Social cognitive factors were assessed using a Likert-type questionnaire and a food frequency questionnaire. Body mass index was calculated using self reported height and weight information. Diet quality was determined using the Healthy Eating Index. Qualitative interviewing was conducted in 35 subjects to identify perceptions working women have about their dietary and physical activity behaviors. There was no difference in diet quality or dietary intake between working women children and women without children. Women with children had significantly lower exercise index scores than women without children (p < .01). Multiple regression models that included sociodemographic covariates related to diet quality and dietary intake and social cognitive factors, explained between 21 and 23% of the variance in diet quality and between 7 and 19% of the variance in dietary intake measures. A model to explain the relationship among social cognitive factors and diet quality in working women is proposed. Results of the qualitative interview suggest that fulltime working women perceive that the multiple roles they have play a negative role in their dietary and physical activity behaviors. This study underscores the importance of taking attitudes toward and knowledge of nutrition, self-efficacy, physical activity, and sociodemographic factors into account when developing worksite nutrition programs for women.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:working women diet quality dietary intake social cognitive theory


Date of Publication:01/01/2003

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