Using Community-Based Programming to Increase Family Social Support for Healthy Eating among African American Adolescents

Joel E. Williams, Sarah F. Griffin, Amy S. McCune, Gregory H. Linke


Little is known about emotional and instrumental social support for nutrition behaviors among African-American adolescents. In this paper, we specifically examine intervention effects on emotional, instrumental and total (composite) social support for fruit/vegetable and low-fat dairy intake. Data from a larger intervention, based on Social Cognitive Theory, which was implemented with 38 African-American adolescents and their families to increase fruit/vegetable intake, low-fat dairy intake and physical activity behaviors are presented. One-way ANOVA analyses revealed that intervention participants had positive and significant increases in emotional social support for low-fat dairy intake (P=0.01), total social support for fruit/vegetable intake (P=0.05), and total social support for low-fat dairy intake (P=0.02). Specific recommendations addressing family social support for healthy eating through youth development programming are discussed.

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