The effect of author credentials upon preadolescents' acceptance of nutrition education materials
Studies have focused on the food intake of adolescents and their sources of nutrient information. Little research has been completed with regard to factors affecting the preadolescent's acceptance of nutrition education materials. The purpose of this study was to determine whether preadolescents were influenced by source credibility when evaluating printed nutrition materials. One hundred forty-two preadolescents participated in the study. The sample included 84 males and 58 females. All were seventh-grade junior high school students from a midwestern state. Three nutrition pamphlets were developed for testing, one comparison and two experimental-. The experimental pamphlets varied only in the stated credentials of the authors, Scientific Authority and Successful Athlete. All subjects read the comparison pamphlet and one experimental pamphlet in a controlled environment. The order of presentation of the pamphlets was balanced. After reading each pamphlet, subjects responded to an evaluative questionnaire using a Likert-type scale. Data treatment included ANOVA and Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. Using the differences between the questionnaire scores on the experimental pamphlet and the comparison pamphlet as the dependent variable, no effect of treatment, order, sex, or interaction between these variables was found. The major factor influencing the scores seemed to be an individualized response to the process, reflected in the high association of comparison and experimental scores.