183550 Utilizing the Social Learning Theory in the development of a preschool physical activity program

Monday, October 27, 2008

Laura Bellows, PhD, MPH, RD , Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Jennifer Anderson, PhD, RD , Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Patricia Davies, PhD, OTR , Department of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Catherine Kennedy, PhD , Department of Health and Exercise Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Introduction: Food Friends-Get Movin' with Mighty Moves™ is a physical activity program designed to enhance gross motor development and increase fitness and activity levels in preschoolers. To improve the likelihood of changing the desired behaviors targeted by Mighty Moves™, the Social Learning Theory (SLT) was applied within the social marketing framework.

Program Design/Methodology: Constructs of the SLT were applied throughout the development of Mighty Moves™ lessons and supporting materials as well as to the teacher training and process evaluation instruments. The construct of reciprocal determinism provided the cornerstone in the development of Mighty Moves™ for both the classroom and teacher components. Four process evaluation instruments were developed, tested for validity, and administered with teachers throughout the 18-week intervention to assess various constructs.

Program Evaluation/Results: Process questions were grouped into SLT constructs. Internal consistency greater than 0.70 among groupings was found within four of the six constructs (behavioral capability, reinforcement, self-efficacy and expectations/expectancies) ranging between 0.72-0.97. Several strong associations between questions within constructs were found, including all questions within the behavioral capability and expectations/expectancies constructs.

Discussion: Integrating behavior change theories into social marketing efforts aides in identifying which behavioral constructs to address, and can impact the choice of behavioral, environmental or policy targets for the intervention. By utilizing the SLT in the development and process evaluation of Food Friends Get Movin' with Mighty Moves™, a more comprehensive view of children and teachers' behavioral capabilities, self-efficacy, expectations and expectancies, and the interplay between their individual characteristics, environment, and behavior was obtained.

Learning Objectives:
1. Learners will be able to list the constructs of the Social Learning Theory. 2. Learners will be able to explain the importance of using behavior change theories within the social marketing framework. 3. Learners will be able to list 3 ways in which theory can be applied to public health interventions.

Keywords: Child Care, Theory

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This project was part of my dissertation. My education includes: PhD - Community Nutrition, MPH - Community Nutrition, BS - Exercise Science & Health Promotion
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.