The Application of Social Cognitive Theory on Mothers’ Feeding Practices for Children Aged 6 to 24 Months old in Iran

Authors

1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

2 Modeling in Health Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

3 HIV/STI Surveillance Research Center, and WHO Collaborating Center for HIV Surveillance, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

Abstract

Background
Complementary Feeding between 6 and 24 months of age underlies nutritional habits in adulthood which can be formed by mothers through these habits. This study was conducted in Kerman aiming to apply the social cognitive theory (SCT) in feeding practices of mothers for their children aged 6 to 24 months.
Materials and Methods
This quasi-experimental study, controlled before and after, was conducted in Kerman health centers on 170 mothers with children aged 6 to 24 months, who were selected by multistage random sampling. The data collection tool was a valid and reliable questionnaire which was completed by mothers before and one month after the intervention. Interventions were implemented for 45 days through four sessions. In the intervention program; presentations, booklets, pamphlets, focus group discussions, role playing, demonstrations, and self-control cards were used. Also, bean sprouts were given to mothers and individual counseling was provided. The data were analyzed using SPSS software version 22.0.
Results: Social cognitive theory constructs including knowledge, outcome expectations, outcome expectancies, situational perception, the environment, self-efficacy and self-control could have significant effect on feeding practices of mothers for children (P <0.05). The intervention caused significant changes in the SCT constructs and feeding practices particularly, changes in environment and situational perception had the greatest impact on behavior change (P <0.05).
Conclusion
Use of the SCT theory for community-based interventions in the studied population programs or regions with similar cultural backgrounds is effective.

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