Nutritional self-efficacy, confidence in following a healthy eating pattern, and growing and preparing food are predictors of diet quality (DQ), but their relationship is not understood. Self-efficacy may increase motivation to learn, and motivation to learn may influence related actions. Since nutritional self-efficacy is a predictor of DQ, and because individuals with higher DQ may grow and prepare their food, researchers speculate that people with higher nutritional self-efficacy have better motivation to learn about growing and preparing food.
To examine the relationship between nutritional self-efficacy and motivation to learn about growing and preparing food in adolescents.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Data were collected cross-sectionally at four high schools in Florida in two waves (Spring and Fall 2021). Nutritional self-efficacy was assessed using 2-items from a health-efficacy assessment, and motivation to learn about these topics was assessed using an 8-item scale via the semantic differential method. Of the 381 participants, most were high school sophomores (28%), female (54%), and White (54%).
Participants were grouped into four categories based on their nutritional self-efficacy and motivation to learn was compared using ANOVA.
Students who believed they could follow a healthy diet thought learning about these topics was more beneficial (P = 0.004) than those who thought they could hardly do so and more interesting (P < 0.02) than all other groups. Students who believed they could maintain a healthy diet thought learning was more interesting (P = 0.012), creative (P = 0.003), satisfying (P = 0.001), and beneficial (P = 0.001) than those who thought they could hardly do so. They also thought learning was more enjoyable (P < 0.045) than all other groups.
These results suggest that students with higher nutritional self-efficacy are more motivated to learn about growing and preparing food. A deeper understanding of this interrelationship may strengthen future interventions designed to improve students’ DQ.
Supplementary data related to this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2022.04.083.
Appendix. SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
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