Research Article| Volume 45, ISSUE 6, P499-509, November 2013

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Nutrition Educator Adoption and Implementation of an Experiential Foods Curriculum

Published:August 19, 2013DOI:



      Describe changes in Nutrition Educator (NE) and Extension Agent (EA) motivation, self-efficacy, and behavioral capability over time after experiential food tasting curriculum training. Identify promoters of curriculum adoption, implementation, and future use.


      Mixed methods design including surveys, lesson implementation reports, and interviews.


      New Mexico limited-resource schools.


      Convenience sample of New Mexico Extension NE (n = 42) and their EA supervisors (n = 21).


      Three-hour curriculum training employing Social Cognitive Theory and Diffusion of Innovations.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Perceived change in motivation, self-efficacy, and behavioral capability from post-training through 8-month post-training; promoters and challenges to curriculum adoption, implementation, and future use.


      Repeated-measures ANOVA analyzed perceived behavior change over time. Significance was set at P ≤ .05. Qualitative responses were categorized by theme.


      Gains in NE motivation, self-efficacy, and behavioral capability were sustained at 8 months post-training. High adoption/implementation rates (79%) were attributed to strong implementation expectations, observational learning, experiential training elements, and perceived curriculum compatibility. Environmental factors including time constraints, personnel turnover, and scheduling conflicts proved challenging.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Maximizing curriculum simplicity and compatibility and incorporating behavioral capability, observational learning, and expectations into training support adoption and use. Adaptations and techniques to problem-solve challenges should be provided to new curricula implementers.

      Key Words

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