Intervention Effects on Stage of Change Membership and Transitions among Adolescent Energy Balance Behaviors

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The transition from childhood to adolescence is a crucial period for the development of healthy behaviors to be sustained later in life. With obesity a leading public health problem, the promotion of healthy behaviors has the potential to make a huge impact. The current study evaluated Stage of Change progression in a large (N = 4158) computer-delivered, Transtheoretical Model-tailored intervention focusing on physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption (FV). Markov models were used to explore stage transitions and patterns of discrete change from sixth to ninth grade. Nested model comparisons examined the consistency of these patterns across time and intervention condition. Major findings supported models in which participants were free to transition forward and backward to any of the stages, but higher probabilities were observed for remaining in the same stage or for transitioning one or two stages forward. Participants in the intervention group had higher probabilities of transitioning toward Maintenance, with more change occurring relative to the comparison group during transitions from grades six to eight but not for grades eight to nine.

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Multivariate Behavioral Research