Term of Award
Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)
Document Type and Release Option
Dissertation (open access)
Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
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Studies involving school aged children (>5 years of age) have reported that positive and negative outcome messages influence a child's fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption. Positive outcome messages have the most significant mediating effect. However, there is a deficiency of studies involving children <5 years of age. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the perceptions preschool aged children (4 years old) have about F&V messages and how these perceptions relate to F&V knowledge, preference, and consumption. Methods: Parents (n =175) were surveyed about their nutrition behavior, parenting practices and the home food environment. Children's (n = 201) school lunch-time F&V consumption was recorded over five days. Children (n=195) were individually interviewed about their knowledge, preference, and perceptions of F&Vs. Child perceived messages were operationalized into Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) constructs to assist in behavior explanation. Pearson's correlations were used to determine variable relationships and an independent samples t-test was done to determine gender and socioeconomic status (SES) group differences. Results: Preschool children conveyed positive outcome expectancies (POE), negative outcome expectancies (NOE), and prompts most frequently when describing F&Vs. Knowledge was positively correlated to prompts, POE and NOE. Child preference (likes) was negatively correlated to NOE. Dislikes were positively correlated to NOE. Differences between income levels were observed. Discussion: This study provides information about the food environment from the perspective of both parent and child. Providing appropriate messages early in the developmental years of a child's life can play dividends for positive future health outcomes.
Hansen, Andrew Rasmus, "Preschool Children's Perceptions of Fruit and Vegetable Messages and Their Relationship to Parenting Practices, and Child Knowledge, Preference, and Consumption" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 643.