Reliability and Validity of the SE-HEPA: Examining Physical Activity and Healthy Eating-Specific Self-Efficacy among a Sample of African-American Pre-Adolescents
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Current estimates indicate that nearly one-third of all U.S. children can be classified as either overweight or obese and is even more prominent in African American children, affecting approximately 39%. In attempts to identify variables relevant to weight loss through behavior change, researchers have recently begun to examine self-efficacy. Self-efficacy has been found to predict health outcomes and weight loss related behaviors in children and adolescents. The purpose of this study is to examine the psychometric properties of a modified measure of the Self-Efficacy for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (SE-HEPA) created by Young, Steele, and Burns (2012) in a sample of African American pre-adolescents. A confirmatory factor analysis was used to determine if a two-factor measurement model of the SE-HEPA (Physical Activity and Healthy Eating factors) provided a better fit for the data than a one factor model of self-efficacy. Latent structural regression analysis was used to determine if the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity factors were associated with the pre-adolescents’ body mass index (BMI) and weight status in our sample. Consistent with previous research, results indicated that the two-factor model demonstrated good global fit and provided significantly better fit than the one-factor model. Additionally, correlations revealed a significant positive relationship between the Healthy Eating factor and weight status and no direct relationships between the two factors and BMI. Limitations and future directions for research and use of the measure were discussed.