Teachers self-efficacy and knowledge of healthy nutrition and physical activity practices for preschoolers: Instrument development and validation

Linda E. Derscheid, So Yeun Kim, Lauriece L. Zittel, Josephine Umoren, Beverly W. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Childhood obesity remains a problem in the United States. Preschool teachers can help to attenuate it but need to have the confidence or self-efficacy to provide healthy practices. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to (a) develop and validate a preschool teacher self-efficacy tool to examine teachers confidence in addressing the nutrition and physical activity needs of children in their care and (b) examine relationships between teachers self-efficacy and knowledge of healthy nutrition and physical activity practices. Instrument design included examination of related literature and review by 12 subject matter experts. Two hundred seventy-three early childhood professionals submitted a 58-item questionnaire with 48 self-efficacy items in four domains of healthy practices for the preschool classroom; the remaining 10 items reflected knowledge of healthy practices. Two hundred fourteen professionals completed the questionnaire. A principle components factor analysis supported a five-factor self-efficacy scale (three of the original domains and one domain split into two factors) with 46 items. Knowledge of healthy practices and age of the professionals predicted overall self-efficacy. Results indicated evidence of validity for this new assessment tool to assess early childhood professionals self-efficacy toward healthy practices in preschool classrooms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-276
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Childhood Education
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Nutrition and physical activity practices
  • Preschool teachers' self-efficacy

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