Youth proxy efficacy for fruit and vegetable availability varies by gender and socio-economic status

Karly S. Geller, David A. Dzewaltowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective The current study examined proxy efficacy, which was defined as youth's confidence to influence their parents to provide fruits and vegetables. The overall objective was to examine change in middle-school youth's proxy efficacy over time, and to determine if changes were moderated by gender and socio-economic status.Design Longitudinal cohort nested within schools.Setting Eight middle schools located in urban, suburban and rural areas of a mid-western US state.Subjects Seven hundred and twelve youth followed across their 6th, 7th and 8th grade years. The sample was 51.8 % female, 30.5 % low socio-economic status and 89.5 % Caucasian, non-Hispanic.Results Males and lower socio-economic status youth were significantly lower in proxy efficacy at each assessment year compared with females and high socio-economic youth, respectively.Conclusions Proxy efficacy to influence parents to provide fruits and vegetables may be an important construct to target in future interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-851
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Proxy efficacy
  • Socio-economic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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