Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Kevin T. Larkin.


The stages of change (SOC) model has addressed changes people make to important habits such as smoking or diet. This study had three purposes (a) examining the influence of cultural role expectations for males and females on decisional balance (DB), (b) examining changes in stage assignment following feedback for the hidden nutrients of fat and fiber, (c) comparing the effects of feedback and tailored messages on change in fat and fiber intakes.;This study was an experimental control group design with 273 participants at baseline, 235 at intervention, and 197 at post-intervention. Most participants had some college. Baseline included general and gender-specific DB measures, staging algorithms, and a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Staging algorithms were completed at intervention and post-intervention. The FFQ was completed again at post-intervention. The intervention included three groups. The wait list control group (WLG) received a healthy diet brochure. The feedback group (FG) received feedback on their dietary intake plus the brochure. The enhanced feedback group (EFG) received suggestions for change based on their dietary habits plus the feedback report and brochure.;Women rated general DB pros slightly higher than men but ratings were similar for gender-specific DB. Gender-specific DB cons were higher for early stage males compared to late stage males or to early stage women. The late stages did not differ by gender on cons. For lowfat SOC, late stage members receiving negative feedback (>30% of calories from fat) were more likely to regress to earlier stages (24%) than those not receiving feedback (7%). Likewise, for high-fiber SOC, late stage members receiving negative feedback (<20 g fiber) were more likely to regress to earlier stages (33%) than those not receiving feedback (9%). Finally, a Gender and Treatment Group interaction indicated a change in fat intake. Males exhibited a greater reduction in "% of calories from fat" than females in WLG. A similar pattern was seen in EFG, but not in FG.;These findings confirm gender role socialization issues in dietary behaviors. Furthermore, dietary feedback may improve staging accuracy for hidden nutrients, but has limitations related to monitoring dietary behavior with FFQs.