Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Patrice G. Saab

Second Committee Member

Roger McIntosh

Third Committee Member

Neena Malik


Obesity is a major health concern not only for adults, but for children and adolescents as well. Fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of obesity among children and adolescents, but few children and adolescents meet the nationally recommended amount of daily F&V consumption. Also, few studies have examined this relationship among an ethnically diverse sample. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to explore factors (parental F&V consumption and F&V self-efficacy) related to F&V consumption among 200 Middle school girls of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic descent. Multiple group path analyses were conducted. High self-efficacy for F&V consumption was associated with higher F&V consumption among Non-Hispanic girls, and vegetable consumption among Hispanic girls. No significant relationships were observed between BMI and child fruit and vegetable consumption, or parental fruit and vegetable consumption and child fruit and vegetable consumption. Future studies should examine these relationships in a longitudinal study to determine causality.


obesity; adolescents; children; fruit and vegetable consumption; fruit and vegetable intake; middle school aged girls; social cognitive theory; hispanic; non-hispanic; self-efficacy; modeling; parental eating behaviors; ethnicity