A theoretically -based intervention to increase calcium intake in young women

2005 2005

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Abstract (summary)

A theoretically-based intervention to increase calcium intake in young women was implemented and analyzed. Although osteoporosis typically occurs in postmenopausal women, it is critical that behaviors designed to protect against osteoporosis (calcium consumption is the most often cited) begin at a young age, before the attainment of peak bone mass. Studies have frequently shown that young women consume too little calcium. Few interventions have targeted calcium intake in young women, however, and the existing interventions have been seriously limited and largely ineffective. The present project addresses limitations of previous trials with an intervention that (a) manipulates health beliefs that are rooted in theories of health behavior and have been previously shown to relate strongly to levels of calcium intake, and (b) permits mediational analyses to explore the mechanism(s) underlying behavioral change. The intervention addressed the inherent difficulty of altering proximal behavior as a preventive strategy for a distal threat by making salient factors associated with calcium intake that may be relevant to young women's lives and by recommending calcium supplements as a simple yet effective alternative to consuming foods high in calcium. A sample of young women (n = 202) were randomly assigned to participate in the calcium intervention or a control program in a study comprised of three parts: (1) an initial session, in which participants viewed the intervention or control program, preceded by assessments of health beliefs, intentions, and behavior, and followed immediately by assessments of health beliefs and intentions; (2) short-term behavioral follow-up, two weeks after the initial session, and (3) long-term behavioral follow-up, two to three months after the initial session. Participants in the intervention condition exhibited greater intentions for dietary calcium consumption and supplement use and greater total calcium intake and supplement use at follow-up assessments. Several psychosocial constructs (perceived severity of osteoporosis, perceived benefits of and perceived barriers to calcium consumption, self-efficacy for consuming calcium and descriptive norms for calcium intake) were found to mediate the relationship between the intervention program and increased intentions and behavior.

Indexing (details)

Social psychology;
0451: Social psychology
0570: Nutrition
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Psychology; Calcium; Intervention; Osteoporosis prevention; Women
A theoretically -based intervention to increase calcium intake in young women
Schmiege, Sarah J.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 66/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780542015137, 0542015137
Aiken, Leona S.
Arizona State University
University location
United States -- Arizona
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
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