Children and Unhealthy Food Consumption: An Application of the Theory of Normative Social Behavior
Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States. This study used the theory of normative social behavior (TNSB) to better understand how social norms affect the eating behavior of children. Past studies have applied TNSB to adolescents, but not to younger children and not in the context of eating behavior. Participants were 166 children between the ages of 8 and 11 years. They completed questionnaires with TNSB measures (descriptive norms, injunctive norms, outcome expectations, peer communication, group identity, and ego involvement). Results showed that only injunctive norms served as a moderator of the relationship between descriptive norms and food consumption and intentions. Reasons for the lack of significant results, theoretical and practical implications, and directions for future research are explored further.
Varava, Kira. "Children and Unhealthy Food Consumption: An Application of the Theory of Normative Social Behavior." Health communication 34, no. 10 (2019): 1183-1191.