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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3346.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - Board 1

Abstract #96911

Predicting childhood obesity prevention behaviors using social cognitive theory

Manoj Sharma, PhD, Department of Health Promotion & Education, University of Cincinnati & Walden University, 526 Teachers College, P.O. Box 210002, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0002, 513-556-3878, manoj.sharma@uc.edu, Donald I. Wagner, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210002, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0002, and Janice Wilkerson, PhD, Prevention Services, Covington Independent Public Schools, 25 East Seventh Street, Covington, KY 41011.

Four commonly suggested public health strategies to combat childhood obesity are limiting television viewing, encouraging daily physical activity, increasing fruit and vegetable intake, and increasing water consumption. This study examined the extent to which selected social cognitive theory constructs can predict these four behaviors in upper elementary children. A 52 item scale to measure expectations, self-efficacy and self control for the four behaviors was developed and validated for face and content validity by a panel of six experts in a two round process. The scale was administered to 159 fifth graders. Cronbach's alpha and test-retest reliability coefficients for all the subscales were found to be over 0.70 and thus acceptable. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed one factor solution for each of the components measuring outcome expectations, outcome expectancies and self-efficacy for each of the four behaviors. Minutes of physical activity was predicted by self-efficacy to exercise and number of times taught at school that together accounted for 7.2% of the variance. Hours of TV watching were predicted by number of times taught about healthy eating at school and self control through goal setting that together accounted for 5.5% of the variance. Glasses of water consumed were predicted by expectations for drinking water that accounted for 9.1% of the variance. Servings of fruits and vegetables consumed were predicted by self-efficacy of eating fruits and vegetables that accounted for 13.7% of the variance. Social cognitive theory offers a practically useful framework for designing primary prevention interventions to reduce childhood obesity.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the end of this presentation the participants will be able to

    Keywords: Child/Adolescent, 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.

    School Health Posters: Obesity Prevention

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