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03-09-2015 | Uitgave 1/2016

Journal of Behavioral Medicine 1/2016

Pregnant women’s perceptions of weight gain, physical activity, and nutrition using Theory of Planned Behavior constructs

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Uitgave 1/2016
Auteurs:
Kara M. Whitaker, Sara Wilcox, Jihong Liu, Steven N. Blair, Russell R. Pate

Abstract

A better understanding of women’s perceptions of weight gain and related behaviors during pregnancy is necessary to inform behavioral interventions. We used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to examine pregnant women’s perceptions and intentions toward weight gain, physical activity (PA), and nutrition using a mixed methods study design. Women between 20 and 30 weeks gestation (n = 189) were recruited to complete an Internet-based survey. Salient beliefs toward weight gain, PA, and nutrition were captured through open-ended responses and content analyzed into themes. TPB constructs (attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, intentions) were examined using Pearson correlations and hierarchical linear regression models. Salient beliefs were consistent with the existing literature in non-pregnant populations, with the addition of many pregnancy-specific beliefs. TPB constructs accounted for 23–39 % of the variance in weight gain, PA, and nutrition intentions, and made varying contributions across outcomes. The TPB is a useful framework for examining women’s weight-related intentions during pregnancy. Study implications for intervention development are discussed.

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