Abstract: Applying the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills Model to Explain Adolescents’ Fruits and Vegetables Consumption (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

375 Applying the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills Model to Explain Adolescents’ Fruits and Vegetables Consumption

Thursday, May 30, 2019
Garden Room B (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Sasha A Fleary, PhD, Assistant Professor, Tufts University, Medford, MA
Patrece Joseph, MA, Doctoral Student, Tufts University, Medford, MA
Introduction: Inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables (FV) is associated with increased obesity and chronic disease risk. Further, engagement in dietary behaviors is complicated by intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental factors. Multiple studies have explored the relationship between these factors and adolescents’ behaviors but have failed to specify a model of change inclusive of all of the factors. To address this, this study applies the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills model (IMB), a comprehensive, predictive model of behavior change to adolescents’ FV consumption. The IMB model distinguishes three core determinants of performance of health behaviors: health-related information, personal and social motivation, and behavioral skills for behavior engagement. Though the IMB model is widely used in other preventive health behavior (e.g., HIV prevention) research with much success, few studies have applied the IMB model to dietary behaviors in adolescents. The purpose of the current study is to test the utility of IMB model to predict adolescents’ FV consumption.

Methods: This study was a secondary data analysis of the National Cancer Institute’s Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating study (FLASHE). Caregivers and their 12-17-year-old adolescents (N=1,945 dyads) completed web-based surveys on cancer prevention behaviors and data from the diet-related behaviors surveys were used in this study. Health information was assessed by adolescents’ knowledge of the recommended number of servings of FV. Two social (Parent Active Support, Parent Passive Support) and personal (Internal Motivation, and Adolescent Food Preferences) motivation variables were included. Barriers to FV consumption were included as a proxy for lack of behavioral skills. FV consumption was computed based on adolescents’ indication of the number of days they ate fruits, vegetables (i.e., potatoes, salad, and other vegetables), and drank 100% fruit juice over the past seven days. The IMB was empirically tested using structural equation modeling in STATA.

Results: Model fit was good (CFI=.90). Health information and motivation (parent active support, food preferences) were negatively related to barriers to FV consumption and barriers to FV consumption were negatively related to FV consumption. Health information and social motivation were directly positively related to FV consumption.

Conclusions: Results of this study highlight the utility of the IMB model to explain FV consumption in adolescents. The IMB model should be tested in a longitudinal dataset to confirm its utility in predicting FV behavior change. The IMB model should be considered when designing interventions given that current research fail to account for the cumulative relationships of model constructs.