Objective: To develop and test a model based on Bandura's social cognitive theory to predict healthy lifestyle behaviors for the prevention of osteoporosis. Methods: Participants were 354 girls, ages 8 -11 years, recruited from area Girl Scout troops. Baseline data from a randomized trial of behavioral interventions are presented. Measures of social support, knowledge, self-efficacy, dietary calcium intake, and weight-bearing physical activity (WBPA) were obtained via interviews and self-administered questionnaires. Results: A structural equation model was tested and fit the data well. Family social support, perceived self-efficacy for eating a calcium-rich diet, and knowledge of WBPA significantly predicted calcium intake. Friend and family support for exercise predicted WBPA. Self-efficacy partially mediated the relationship between family support and calcium intake, as confirmed by Holmbeck's post-hoc probing strategy (2002). Conclusions: Suggestions are made for primary prevention interventions such as parent and peer involvement, health education, and problem-solving training.
- Calcium intake
- Social support
- Weight-bearing physical activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology