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


  • Joel E. Williams Clemson University
  • Sarah F. Griffin Clemson University
  • Amy S. McCune National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA
  • Gregory H. Linke Clemson University



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.






Research & Evaluation Studies