Relationship between learning style and knowledge, attitude, and behavior change in nutrition education

1990 1990

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

We used Kolb's Model of Experiential Learning and learning style (LS) theory to design a group workshop (GW) and correspondence course (CC) to instruct adults on reducing cancer risk through diet. Kolb's model has four stages: having a concrete experience, reflecting on that experience, forming abstract concepts about the experience, and actively experimenting with what has been learned. Individuals prefer one stage of learning and are classified into four LSs: divergers, assimilators, convergers, and accommodators. The purpose of the study was to test the relationship of LS and instructional method to knowledge, attitude, and behavior change; knowledge and attitude maintenance ten weeks after instruction; and course attrition.

Through mass media we recruited adults interested in diet and cancer prevention. Subjects completed Kolb's LS Inventory II (an instrument to determine LS), demographic questionnaire, and knowledge, attitude, and behavior pretests. Subjects were randomly assigned, by LS, to the GW, CC, or control group. Following the educational intervention, participants completed posttest measures of knowledge and attitude and delayed posttests of knowledge, attitude, and behavior.

Both courses improved knowledge and attitude at posttest. However, knowledge gain was not maintained in either course, but attitude was maintained in the CC. Each course increased self-reported behavior scores, but only the GW values were significantly greater than controls. The CC improved "Yellow and Dark Green Vegetable" intake and lowered fat consumption in those subjects who had high fat intakes before the study began.

No relationship was found between LS and knowledge and attitude change or maintenance, self-reported behavior, nutrient intake, nutrient density, or attrition. However, the converger LS had a significant decrease in consumption of citrus fruits at delayed posttest as compared to divergers and accommodators. In addition, convergers attending the GW had decreased fruit and vegetable consumption. The negative outcomes of convergers in the GW may be due to their preference for technical tasks rather than people.

Thus, successful knowledge, attitude, and behavior change can result from nutrition education programs designed to reach all learning styles. Further research is needed to compare Kolb's model to other theories of behavior change and maintenance.

Indexing (details)

Adult education;
Continuing education
0570: Nutrition
0516: Adult education
0516: Continuing education
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Education
Relationship between learning style and knowledge, attitude, and behavior change in nutrition education
Beffa-Negrini, Patricia A.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 51/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Cohen, Nancy L.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.