DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This Phase II SBIR will develop and test a theory based, developmentally appropriate, and culturally specific intervention designed to promote increased fruit and vegetable consumption among economically disadvantaged Black early adolescents aged 11 through 14 years. Drawing from the theoretical and empirical dietary behavior change literature and Phase I data, Phase II will draft intervention content. Formative evaluation procedures will ensure that intervention content is culturally and developmentally appropriate for the target population. The intervention will undergo successive reviews by an expert panel; a panel of community-based professionals that have experience working with economically disadvantaged Black youths; and a sample of 48 youths representative of the target population. Revisions will be made to the intervention based on feedback provided by these referents, and the intervention will be programmed for CD-ROM-mediated delivery. The efficacy of the CD-ROM-mediated intervention, relative to no intervention, will be examined in a randomized-subjects pretest-posttest control group design.
Recruited through youth services agencies across greater New York City, 974 informed and consenting youths will be randomized to experimental and control study arms. Experimental arm youths will interact with the software in four on-site sessions delivered over an eight-month period. Youths will complete outcome measurement batteries before and after intervention. Outcome analyses will determine the efficacy of the computer-mediated intervention in increasing youth's fruit and vegetable consumption and promoting forward movement through the stages of change for fruit and vegetable consumption. Should the CD-ROM intervention prove effective, it will be disseminated to schools and youth services agencies similar to those engaged in this research and development effort through direct marketing efforts and through licensing agreements with distributors of youth-oriented health promotion programs.
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