Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Food and Nutrition


The major objective of this study was to prepare a questionnaire on basic nutrition knowledge and to standardize its use for groups of young adults. Generalizations of nutrition information and statements of supporting facts for each generalization were identified. Sixteen professionals in nutrition and home economics education validated their use as the basis for the preparation of the questionnaire. The objective for the final instrument was a total of 50 multiple-choice questions based on 20 items relating to physiological aspects of nutrition; 10 to sociopsychological and economic aspects; and 20 to food as sources of nutrients. Approximately 15, 50 and 35% of the items were to represent knowledge, comprehension and application or higher levels of the cognitive domain, respectively;Test items were reviewed by 17 professionals in nutrition and home economics education. Evaluation specialists identified cognitive levels for the items. A representative 75-item questionnaire was pretested with 103 university students following an introductory nutrition course. Fifty questions were selected based on item analysis of questions representing each generalization. The questionnaire was standardized with 168 students at the end of an introductory nutrition course. The mean score and standard deviation was 32.9 (+OR-) 7.8. The Kuder-Richardson formula-20 reliability index was 0.84;For other adult groups tested mean knowledge scores were highest for those groups who had received some nutrition training. The mean score for 34 elementary teachers at the completion of a nutrition education course (41.0 (+OR-) 4.4) was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than that for the standardization group. Other groups which had received some nutrition instruction (teachers at the end of a nutrition education workshop, students at the beginning of an intermediate nutrition course and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program aides) had mean scores similar to that of the standardization group. Significantly lower (p < 0.001) mean scores were found for groups of university students without prior nutrition instruction, student nurses, 4-H leaders, and parents;The generalizations identified constituted a basis for understanding nutrition and could be used to develop programs of nutrition education for the public. The questionnaire proved reliable for testing nutrition knowledge. Further use of the instrument is recommended.



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Maxine Marie Jones Corey



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368 pages