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.