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Title:Adult- and teen-led education use in healthful grocery shopping and menu planning for parents and their adolescents
Author(s):Nikolaus, Cassandra J
Advisor(s):Nickols-Richardson, Sharon M
Contributor(s):Chapman-Novakofski, Karen M; Gundersen, Craig
Department / Program:Nutritional Sciences
Discipline:Nutritional Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):peer education
obesity prevention
nutrition education
grocery shopping
menu planning
young adolescence
Abstract:Background. The average dietary pattern among young American adolescents does not meet the national Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Dietary habits developed in this age predict intake patterns in adulthood. Thus, poor dietary habits will persist and lead to elevated risk for obesity development. Interventions that cultivate healthful dietary habits among this population are needed to reduce obesity risk. Young adolescence is a unique life-stage of rapid physical and cognitive development that coincides with an expansion of social environments that include influences from peers, where an exponential amount of time is spent together, in addition to family. Objective. To determine the feasibility for and effectiveness of a menu planning workshop, and a grocery store tour, to be led by young adolescent leaders to parents and their young adolescent children. Methods. The menu planning workshop was evaluated using a randomized study design, where a convenience sample of 32 participants (15 parents and their 17 adolescent children) attended a workshop led by either an adult leader (AL) or teen leader (TL). The grocery store tour was evaluated using a randomized controlled pilot study, where a convenience sample of 132 participants (61 parents and 71 adolescent children) were enrolled. Families were randomly assigned to one of three groups: 1) an AL tour group (n=21 families); 2) a TL tour group (n=20 families); or 3) a 6-month waitlist control (CG) group (n=20 families). In both studies, process evaluations were conducted using observations as well as participant reports of perceptions of the programs. Participants completed questionnaires related to knowledge, self-efficacy, and program strategy use before participation and again immediately post- and at 3- and 6-months post-program. Results. In the menu planning workshop pilot study, the majority of program tasks (>75%) were rated as "completed well" when led by either ALs or TLs. Among both parent and adolescent attendees, menu planning-related self-efficacy significantly increased from baseline to all follow-up assessments. Parents perceived that they had adopted an average of 5.11 behaviors (±4.86) that were encouraged during the workshop, out of 19 options; this was not significantly different between AL vs. TL groups. In the grocery store tour pilot study, the vast majority of tour tasks (>90%) were rated as "completed well" for both adult and teen leaders. Participants perceived the tour positively, but process observers noted specific shortcomings among teen leaders regarding public speaking and lesson knowledge. There were no significant differences for the majority of the shopping dynamic facets when compared over time or by AL vs. TL group. Similar to the menu planning workshop, parents and adolescents had significantly greater self-efficacy when baseline scores were compared to the last two assessment periods. Additionally, parents perceived that they adopted 6.47 behaviors (±4.19), of 11, over the six months following the grocery store tour; this was not significantly different between groups. Conclusion. Both the menu planning and grocery store pilot studies indicated that it is feasible for young adolescents to lead programs on these topics to parents and their young adolescent children. However, an observed deficiency in public speaking skills and content expertise among young adolescents may need to be addressed using additional resources, personnel or other supportive measures. Additionally, limited but promising evidence indicates that these programs may encourage positive self-efficacy change among participants.
Issue Date:2016-07-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Cassandra Nikolaus
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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