Impact of a Policy, Systems, and Environmental Intervention of Low-Income 5th Grade Students' Self-Efficacy

Sabrina Hafner, University of Rhode Island


Objective: Evaluate the impact of an 8-lesson Policy, Systems, and Environment (PSE) nutrition intervention on students’ asking self-efficacy for fruits and vegetables (FV’s). ^ Study Design: Quasi-experimental mixed-methods design. Participants/Setting: N=142 (n=85 intervention, n=57 control) 5th grade students from urban, low-income elementary schools. Intervention: Intervention group received an intervention designed to empower students in making changes to their food environment. Main Outcome ^ Measures: Self-reported asking self-efficacy for fruit and vegetables, FV and PSE knowledge, and FV consumption and variety. Semi-structured focus groups assessed students’ self-efficacy. ^ Analyses: Analysis of covariance, Wilcoxon signed-rank test, paired t-tests for survey data. Thematic analysis for focus group data. ^ Results: There were no significant differences in school and home self-efficacy between or within groups. There were no between group differences in other variables. There was a significant increase in FV knowledge and a decrease in vegetable consumption and variety within the intervention group (p < 0.05). Fruit consumption significantly increased (p < 0.01 in both groups). Themes that emerged in pre- and post- focus groups were: self-efficacy in asking for a favorite FV, outcome expectation as a result in asking, identifying strategies in increasing FV frequency, and helping at home with food preparation. At post-intervention, students better described their feelings of self-efficacy compared to pre-intervention. Students at post positively reflected on the intervention in that they enjoyed being involved in change. ^ Conclusion and Implication: There were no significant differences in self-efficacy and PSE knowledge assessed by surveys. Focus group data revealed that students who received the PSE intervention perceived positive changes on self-efficacy in asking for FV and that they understood school and home PSE. The discrepancy between assessment methods needs to be expanded in future research.^

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Recommended Citation

Sabrina Hafner, "Impact of a Policy, Systems, and Environmental Intervention of Low-Income 5th Grade Students' Self-Efficacy" (2018). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI10784262.