University Students’ Eating Behaviors: Implications for the Social Cognitive Theory
Victoria Cox, Linda Mann, Karen Blotnicky, Melissa Rossiter

While particular constructs of the Social-Cognitive Theory (SCT) have gained attention in eating behavior research, more investigation about the utility of the framework as it applies to specific population groups is needed. The objective of this study was to determine the utility of a SCT conceptual modelto predict dietary outcomes in a sample of 188 university students in Atlantic Canada.Using partial least squares regression analysesstatistically significant relationships were determined among four social-cognitive constructs (situation, behavioral capabilities, self-efficacy and outcome expectancies) and between three constructs (situation, behavior capabilities and self-efficacy)and increased intakes of specific food groups and the foods to limit group. The conceptual models explained 48 to 68% of the variance in dietary outcomes and supported using a composite SCT model for developing comprehensive dietary interventions for university studentsby focusing on simultaneously enhancing self-efficacy for healthy eating, increasing access to healthy food, decreasing availability of foods to limit, and enhancing behavioral skills for preparing certain foods, specifically vegetables and fruits and grain products.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijhs.v5n4a3