Questionnaire Development Research Methods| Volume 55, ISSUE 5, P354-362, May 2023

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Assessing Foods and Nutrition Competencies in Youth



      To develop a comprehensive assessment of foods and nutrition competencies with robust psychometric properties for the 4-H Foods and Nutrition Project.


      The Assessment of Foods and Nutrition Competencies in Adolescents was developed through a systematic measurement development process by a group of researchers, practitioners, and program alumni familiar with the theory of change and implementation procedures of the 4-H Foods and Nutrition Project.


      Recruitment was conducted through the 4-H Online membership management program for 4-H members throughout Texas to complete online survey questions.


      Four hundred twenty-four Texas 4-H members in grades 6–12.

      Variables Measured

      Survey items addressing 6 specific foods and nutrition competencies dimensions.


      A series of reliability and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to assess the psychometric qualities of Assessment of Foods and Nutrition Competencies in Adolescents.


      Assessment of Foods and Nutrition Competencies in Adolescents was found to possess good factor structure, reliability, validity, and measurement invariance. Program participants showed an advantage over nonparticipants in most core foods and nutrition competencies concerning positive behavioral changes.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Assessment of Foods and Nutrition Competencies in Adolescents comprehensively captures the core competencies promoted by the 4-H Foods and Nutrition Project and possesses the psychometric qualities critical for program evaluation. A more diversity-focused outreach effort is needed for inclusive youth programs like the 4-H Foods and Nutrition Project to benefit the general youth population.

      Key Words

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