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Effect of parental health beliefs and related dietary factors on adolescent health beliefs
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Adolescent health beliefs of 54 adolescents residing phics. in Texas were compared with their parental health beliefs, parenting style, maternal diet related activities and eating habits, to determine their influence on willingness and perceived ability to make changes in the diet and exercise habits. The Hea1th Belief Model (HBM) was applied in this study. Beliefs were based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the components of HBM identified included the perception that the guideline diets were unappetizing, perceived inconvenience and social influence, perceived cost and benefits, and perceived ability and willingness to change diet and exercise habits. The assessments done on the adolescents included anthropometric measurements, dietary recalls, activity recalls, venipuncture, step test and questionnaires administered to the adolescents and their parents by trained interviewers. Health beliefs were measured in separate questionnaire administered to the adolescents, and their mothers and fathers. Principal component analysis was done to identify factors underlying the health belief items, for the adolescents and their parents, in this study. The hypothesized relationships among adolescent health beliefs and parental health beliefs were tested using Pearson's product moment correlation and multiple regression. Certain components of the HBM, including perceived cost and benefits, and barriers such as inconvenience and perception that the guideline diets were unappetizing did not contribute in predicting behavioral changes among the adolescents. Perceived ability and willingness to change seemed to have had an influence but did not appear influence but did not appear consistently for all aspects of dietary changes. This suggests that the adolescents may not be sure about their health beliefs or that it is not considered as a priority. This was an exploratory study and it focused on all different aspects of the Dietary Guidelines. Thus it also suggests a reason for not finding one consistent predictor for all the different dietary outcomes. Parental health beliefs and other social influences such as parenting style and peer influence did not seem to have a consistent effect on the adolescent health beliefs. This suggests that the adolescents' health beliefs and health-related behaviors were being affected by a multitude of factors working in confluence.
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Includes bibliographical references: p. 97-107.
Madhavan, Meera (1998). Effect of parental health beliefs and related dietary factors on adolescent health beliefs. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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