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Nutrition self-efficacy is unidirectionally related to outcome expectations in children.

Larsen (2015)
Summary by 

To clarify the underlying relationship between nutrition self-efficacy and outcome expectations because the direction of the relationship (unidirectional vs bidirectional) is debated in the literature. Secondary data analysis of a 10-week, 10-lesson school-based nutrition education intervention among 3rd grade students (N  =  952). Nutrition self-efficacy (7 items) and nutrition outcome expectations (9 items) were measured through student self-report at intervention pre- (time 1) and post- (time 2) assessments. A series of two time point, multi-group cross-lagged bivariate change score models were used to determine the direction of the relationship. A cross lag from nutrition self-efficacy at time 1 predicting changes in nutrition outcome expectations at time 2 significantly improved the fit of the model (Model 3), whereas a cross lag from nutrition outcome expectations at time 1 to changes in nutrition self-efficacy at time 2 only slightly improved the fit of the model (Model 2). Furthermore, adding both cross lags (Model 4) did not improve model fit compared to the model with only the self-efficacy cross lag (Model 3). Lastly, the nutrition outcome expectations cross lag did not significantly predict changes in nutrition self-efficacy in any of the models. Data suggest that there is a unidirectional relationship between nutrition self-efficacy and outcome expectations, in which self-efficacy predicts outcome expectations. Therefore, theory-based nutrition interventions may consider focusing more resources on changing self-efficacy because it may also lead to changes in outcome expectations as well.