Date of Award

12-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Advisor

Condrasky, Margaret

Committee Member

McGregor , John U

Committee Member

Griffin , Sarah

Abstract

The objectives of this study are to provide evidence for and demonstrate the processes used to develop and test tools to measure the effectiveness of a culinary and nutrition education program. This study initially involved a review of literature related to the environmental conditions for and components of nutrition education interventions featuring hands-on cooking skill activities. Based on this literature examination, the Cooking Attitude, Cooking Behavior, Produce Consumption Self-Efficacy, Cooking Self-Efficacy, Self-Efficacy for Using Basic Cooking Techniques, and Self-Efficacy for Using Fruits, Vegetables and Seasonings scales and the Knowledge of Cooking Terms and Techniques evaluation were developed. The Availability and Accessibility of Fruits and Vegetables index was adapted from published work.
The target population includes adult parents and caregivers in South Carolina. For the pilot reliability study a self-selected group (n = 39) was recruited from Head Start preschools; a subgroup of nineteen parents and caregivers chose to participate in test-retest evaluation. Larger study data was collected from 162 parents and caregivers recruited from church preschools, Head Start preschools, public elementary schools and playgroup settings. Analysis conducted for this study included content validity, test-retest reliability, internal consistency reliability, descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis with promax rotation, correlations, and predictive validity. From the pilot study, test-retest reliability coefficients ranged from r = .43 to r = .89. Pilot Cronbach Alpha results ranged from .15 to .89. From the larger study, exploratory factor analysis indicated single factor structure for the Availability and Accessibility of Fruits and Vegetables index, Cooking Behavior, Produce Consumption Self-Efficacy, Cooking Self-Efficacy, Self-Efficacy for Using Basic Techniques, and Self-Efficacy for Using Fruits, Vegetables, and Seasonings scales. The Cooking Attitude scale performs best with two subscales: Positive Cooking Attitude and Negative Cooking Attitude.
This study confirms the need for reliable and valid assessment tools to evaluate culinary nutrition education intervention programs. Specific concepts were identified through a review of the literature and exploratory factor analysis that address concepts central to promoting dietary behavior change through nutrition education and cooking skill development. Although the Cooking Behavior and Self-Efficacy for Using Fruits, Vegetables, and Seasonings scales require additional development and testing to improve reliability, the remaining instruments demonstrate adequate reliability and validity among parents and caregivers.

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