Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Campbell, Cynthia (Professor of Education)

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Nutrition--Psychological aspects; Nutrition--Physiological aspects


Using Self-Efficacy and the Transtheoretical Model as the framework, this study investigated the influence of a goal-setting and monitoring intervention on the cognitive and behavioral variables in students enrolled in nutrition courses. To help control mono-operation bias, courses with two different approaches to course sequencing and content were included. A pretest/posttest (i.e., eight page questionnaire) quasi-experimental design was utilized, with twelve weeks of the nutrition course serving as the intervention. Data was collected using the Block Eating Habits Screener, researcher-developed Self-Efficacy Scales, and stage of change tools. The Self-Efficacy Scales were: nutrition self-efficacy, social expectancy outcomes, physical (positive and negative) expectancy outcomes, and selfevaluation expectancy outcomes. The overall participation rate for completion of both the pretest and posttest in the four courses was 74.5% (263 of 353 enrolled in courses). Over 80% entered the nutrition courses in a pre-action stage and ranked “interest” as the number two choice for enrollment. The groups did not differ at baseline (MANOVA). There was no significant pretest to posttest score difference between the goal-setting and control groups. The concepts and course activities presented in the nutrition courses may have confounded the ability to measure effectiveness of the goal-setting treatment. The two courses differed significantly from each other on two variables. One course demonstrated an increase in self-evaluative expectancies, while the other had no change. The courses differed on positive physical expectancies, although neither group had a significant change in score from pretest to posttest. Significant pretest to posttest differences were found for: decrease in dietary fat, increase in nutrition self-efficacy and social outcome expectancies, and advancement in stage of change. The largest effect size was for the increase in selfefficacy for nutrition knowledge, skills, and motivation. Using MANOVA and two-step post hoc analysis, there was a significant difference across stage of change at pretest and posttest for: social expectancies, nutrition self-efficacy, and dietary fat. These results provide evidence further validating the effectiveness of nutrition interventions - in particular the positive cognitive and behavioral effects of university nutrition courses.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [147]-159).


viii, 180 pages




Northern Illinois University

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