Topical Area: Nutrition Education and Behavioral Science
Objectives : The objective of this study was to assess the reliability and construct validity of the SNAP-Ed Youth Behavior Survey (YBS).
SNAP-Ed is a USDA program responsible for administering nutrition and physical activity education to SNAP-eligible children. The SNAP-Ed YBS is a 12-item program evaluation questionnaire pertaining to child food and physical activity behaviors and knowledge. There are 7 behavior questions (2 relate specifically to fruit and vegetable intake; scalar) and 5 knowledge questions (binomial). A demographic survey and the YBS was administered to 58 children attending a USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) site where SNAP-Ed programming was occurring. Reliability was assessed using Cronbach’s Alpha test for internal consistency. Skin carotenoid level was selected as the gold standard for assessing construct validity. Resonance Raman Spectroscopy (RRS) intensity was used to determine skin carotenoid levels. Construct validity was determined by comparing YBS fruit and vegetable behavior scores with skin carotenoid levels via Pearson Correlation coefficients.
Results : Mean age of participants was 8.43 ± 0.25 years, 92.86% were white, and mean RRS intensity was 26,717 counts. Alpha coefficients for internal consistency for behavior and knowledge questions were 0.66 and 0.20, respectively. There was an inverse relationship between fruit and vegetable responses and RRS intensity counts.
Conclusions : Results from this pilot demonstrate that the YBS is a reliable tool for assessing child behaviors, but not knowledge; validity of the fruit and vegetable intake questions was not observed. Future research should be conducted to confirm findings from this study to assure use of reliable and valid assessment tools in SNAP-Ed.
Funding Sources : USDA SNAP-Ed