Validation of 5 Stage-of-Change Measures for Parental Support of Healthy Eating and Activity

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Date of Original Version



Objective: To assess the validity of 5 parental stage-of-change (SOC) measures: (1) providing 5 servings/d of fruits and vegetables (FV), (2) limiting television (TV) to 2h/d, (3) helping children achieve 1h/d physicalactivity (PA), (4) limiting sugary drinks (SD) to 1 serving/wk, and (5) limiting fruit juice (FJ) to 4-6 oz/d. Design: Cross-sectional instrument development study. Construct validity was evaluated by examining whether parental self-efficacy, parental readiness ladder (ladder), and child's behavioral levels (eg, FV consumption) exhibited a theoretically consistent pattern across the SOC. Setting/Participants: Convenience sample (n=283) of parents of children aged 4-10years. Measures: Survey assessed SOC, ladder, and child's behavioral level score for each topic (FV, TV, PA, SD, and FJ), and parental self-efficacy for measure except TV. Analysis: Analysis of variance with Tukey-Kramer post hoc tests examined whether variables differed by SOC. Results: Percentages of parents in the pre-action SOC were 34% (PA), 39% (FV), 42% (SD), 45% (TV), and 63% (FJ). Parental self-efficacy, ladder, and child's behavioral level differed significantly by SOC for each topic area (P<.001). Maintenance SOC was significantly higher than pre-action SOC. Conclusions and Implications: Measured variables exhibited a theoretically consistent pattern across SOC, suggesting construct validity and potential usefulness for obesity prevention efforts.

Publication Title

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior