Exploring Adolescents’ Experiences and Parents’ Teaching Strategies Related to Food Preparation Literacy: A Photovoice and Grounded Theory Approach
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The purpose of this dissertation was to explore and provide evidence-based insight on food preparation literacy in adolescents’ homes. First, a comprehensive systematic review was conducted to understand (1) synthesize the literature on food preparation literacy among adolescents, and (2) assess the methodological quality of these studies. The review comprised 38 articles and addressed how researchers conceptualize food preparation literacy, their rationale for including some aspects of food preparation literacy, and reasons for the methodology utilized. Second, photovoice and Grounded Theory were combined to assess food preparation practices in the homes of four rural families with an adolescent household member. The analysis shows adolescents were encouraged to participate in food preparation at home. The adolescents described their cooking experiences as challenging at first, but becoming easier overtime with practice. The adolescents believed food preparation at home reduced stress and promoted bonding time with parents, but increased tiredness. On the other hand, the parents of adolescents reported their food preparation literacy and teaching strategies emerged from observation, motivation, and direct instruction. Time, age, emotion, and family (grandparents) helped to determine when teaching and learning occurred. Other factors that impacted learning and teaching were resources (T.V., computers), location (home, school), and feedback. Overall, the two studies identified three key findings: (1) not enough work is being done in the area of food preparation; (2) many factors influence how food preparation literacy is transmitted; and (3) food preparation knowledge and skills are transmitted primarily through informal means. This study provides an initial theoretical model to understand the dynamics of food preparation training among adolescents. Further research is needed to test the model qualitatively and better understand the definition in the use of food preparation literacy. Health policy advocates or policymakers, health educators, and dietitians may consider developing and testing educational and behavioral interventions related to food preparation literacy for adolescents and their parents.
Mcdonald, Andrea E (2015). Exploring Adolescents’ Experiences and Parents’ Teaching Strategies Related to Food Preparation Literacy: A Photovoice and Grounded Theory Approach. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from