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A qualitative evaluation of an in-school Social Norms Approach intervention for reducing unhealthy snacking behaviours amongst secondary school students

Calvert, Sian, Dempsey, Robert and Povey, Rachel (2024) A qualitative evaluation of an in-school Social Norms Approach intervention for reducing unhealthy snacking behaviours amongst secondary school students. British Food Journal, 126 (7). pp. 2970-2981. ISSN 0007-070X

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Abstract or description

Purpose: The Social Norms Approach (SNA) is a health behaviour intervention which promotes positive behaviour change by challenging and reducing misperceived social norms of peer behaviours and attitudes. This study reports a novel qualitative evaluation of an in-school SNA intervention which aimed to reduce 11-to-12-year-old students’ unhealthy snacking behaviours by reducing misperceived peer norms.

Design: A qualitative evaluation of seven teachers’ and eighteen students’ experiences of taking part in the SNA intervention based on focus group discussions and an open-ended survey.

Findings: An inductive reflexive thematic analysis indicated that the SNA intervention was an effective and engaging means of delivering normative feedback to younger adolescents. The use of a paper-and-pens creative poster-making activity, where students were tasked with designing the intervention materials featuring normative feedback based on their baseline data, encouraged students to discuss and reflect on the discrepancies between their perceived norms and the actual reported unhealthy snacking norms. Challenges were identified with ensuring intervention fidelity and in students’ understanding of how to record survey responses using Likert scales.

Originality: This study demonstrates the usefulness of exploring post-intervention perceptions of SNA interventions, particularly from the perspective of the intended recipients. The study also provides useful information for those intending to develop in-school SNA interventions in the future, particularly the importance of involving participants in the designing of intervention materials as a means of promoting engagement with an SNA-based dietary behaviour intervention.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Norms Approach, Adolescents, Dietary behaviour, Intervention, Social Norms, Snacking
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Rachel POVEY
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2024 11:10
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 11:10

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