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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4296.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 5:10 PM

Abstract #119540

Applying Social Cognitive Theory in the development of childhood overweight and obesity programs in the school setting

Christopher M. Ledingham, MPH, CHES, Department of Health and Kinesiology, Division of Health Education, Texas A&M University, 4243 TAMU, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, 9792190768, cmledingham@hlkn.tamu.edu

Overweight and obesity rates are on the rise in the United States and this increase is most evident in children aged 6-11 years. To this end, health educators need to develop theoretically based programs that can be used to change the health behaviors and modify environmental and social factors associated with overweight and obesity in children. Of the many theories that can be used to design health education interventions, one that has been used successfully is the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). The SCT is a theory that addresses both the psychosocial dynamics influencing health behavior and methods for promoting behavior change. Within this context the SCT explains human behavior in a triadic model in which human behavior, personal cognitive factors, and the environment interact. One of the most common settings for addressing issues with children is the school and over the past ten years a number of programs in the school setting (n=10) have utilized one or more of the 11 SCT constructs. While many of the programs focus on observational learning, self efficacy, or expectations, other programs have used more or sometimes fewer constructs. The purpose of this presentation is to detail a process for health educators to integrate SCT constructs into new and innovative programs that address the issues associated with childhood overweight and obesity in the school setting.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Adolescents, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

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The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA