Date of Award

12-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

P. Michael Davidson

Committee Members

Jennifer Richards, Gary Skolits

Abstract

Self-efficacy is a proven indicator of predicting risky behaviors, but without a baseline level of adolescent food safety self-efficacy to develop targeted interventions it is difficult to produce meaningful behavior change. The research question around which this study was designed is: To what extent can a validated instrument accurately capture adolescent beliefs of food safety self-efficacy. Through rigorous field testing and statistical analysis we hypothesize a valid and reliable instrument can be created for measuring adolescents’ food safety self-efficacy. The purposes of this study included: (a) development of a high quality, food safety self-efficacy instrument, (b) validation of the instrument through expert review, and (c) field testing of the instrument to measure adolescent food safety self-efficacy. A field test of the instrument was conducted with adolescent students (n=91) using expert review and the following analyses: a) the normality, (b) the validity, and (c) the reliability. The final instrument yielded 16 items that were within the boundaries of normality, passed expert review, and/or had strong validity and reliability results. The results of this study indicate that an instrument accurately measuring and capturing adolescent food safety self-efficacy is possible to create by using proven valid and reliable methods.

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