Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #214560

Title: Measures of self-efficacy and norms for low-fat milk consumption are reliable and related to beverage consumption among 5th graders at school lunch

item Watson, Kathleen
item Baranowski, Thomas
item Cullen, Karen

Submitted to: Public Health Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/4/2007
Publication Date: 4/1/2008
Citation: Thompson, V.J., Bachman, C., Watson, K., Baranowski, T., Cullen, K.W. 2008. Measures of self-efficacy and norms for low-fat milk consumption are reliable and related to beverage consumption among 5th graders at school lunch. Public Health Nutrition. 11(4):421-426.

Interpretive Summary: Children consume foods for a variety of reasons, including whether they perceive others doing this behavior and believe others expect them to do this behavior (called norms) and they have the self confidence they can do the behavior and overcome barriers to doing the behavior (called self-efficacy). Norms and self-efficacy may be specific to specific locations, e.g., at school lunch, and to the social and cognitive characteristics of children of different ages (e.g., 5th graders). Measures of these variables are needed to test hypotheses and to evaluate the impact of interventions. This study generated items for new measures of norms and self-efficacy to consume low-fat milk and low-fat milk consumption at school lunch by 5th grade students; collected responses to those items among 275 5th grade students; and conducted usual psychometric analyses. The scales had reasonable psychometric characteristics. They are available for use by other researchers studying these behaviors among 5th graders at school lunch.

Technical Abstract: The objective was to determine the reliability and validity of scales measuring low-fat milk consumption self-efficacy and norms during school lunch among a cohort of 5th graders. Two hundred seventy-five students completed lunch food records and a psychosocial questionnaire measuring self-efficacy and norms for school lunch low-fat milk consumption during the fall and spring semesters of the 1998-1999 academic year. Test-retest reliability was assessed in participants who also completed the questionnaire in the spring semester (n = 262). Principal component analyses identified and confirmatory factor analyses confirmed latent variables. Bivariate correlations measured construct validity. Subjects were 5th graders (n = 275) from one middle school in the Houston, TX, area. Two scales measuring psychosocial influences of low-fat milk consumption were identified and proved reliable in this population: milk self-efficacy and milk norms. Milk self-efficacy and norms were positively correlated with milk consumption and negatively correlated with consumption of sweetened beverages. These questionnaires can be used in similar interventions to measure the impact of self-efficacy and norms for drinking low-fat milk during school lunch.