229437 Role of self-efficacy and the environment in encouraging undergraduates to eat breakfast every day

Monday, November 8, 2010

Susan E. Middlestadt, PhD , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Jeanne Johnston, PhD , Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Marieke Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS , Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Ahmed Youssefagha, PhD , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Ruth Gassman, PhD , Indiana Prevention Resource Center, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Jonathon Agley , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background: Evidence suggests that those who eat breakfast have a healthier weight than those who do not. According to the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA), intention to engage in healthy behaviors like eating breakfast is determined by three global components, one's attitude toward the behavior, perceived norms about the behavior, and self-efficacy for engaging in the behavior. We explored the factors underlying decisions to eat breakfast every day. Methods: An online survey was conducted with a representative sample of the 2,964 full-time undergraduates from one school of mid-western rural University. Fully 1,185 or 40% of the students participated; raw data were weighted by class and gender. The instrument included 7-point semantic differential type items assessing intention, attitude, perceived norm, and self-efficacy for eating breakfast every day for the next month. Multiple regression analyses predicted intention from attitude, subjective norm, and self-efficacy. Results: About 1/3 (32%) of the students ate breakfast 7 of the past 7 days (m=4.46, sd=2.38). The adjusted R2 indicated that the three global RAA constructs predicted 73% of the variation in intention (p<.0001). While all 3 standardized regression weights were statistically significant, the weight for the self-efficacy component (Beta=0.71, p<.001) was larger than the weight for either attitude (Beta=0.08, p<.001) or perceived norm (Beta=0.17, p<.001). Conclusions: The high weight for self-efficacy suggests that encouraging a higher level of breakfast consumption would require increasing students' confidence that they could eat breakfast either by building their skills at obtaining breakfast or by changing the environment to make breakfast more accessible.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the level of breakfast consumption among college undergraduates. 2. Compare the importance of attitude, perceived norm, and self-efficacy in predicting intention to eat breakfast. 3. Identify approaches to improving breakfast consumption.

Keywords: Behavioral Research, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I do applied theory-based research for intervention design on a variety of health behaviors, like eating behaviors.
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.