Iranian adolescent girls' self-concepts of eating behaviors: A qualitative study

Authors

1 Associate Professor and Head of Health Education and Promotion, Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health. Department of Health Promotion, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 PhD Candidate of Health Education and Promotion, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Department Of Health Education and Promotion, School Of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

3 Professor of Health Education and Promotion and Head of the Elderly Health Research Center, Department of the Elderly Health, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

4 Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences and Head of the Nutrition and Food Security Research Center, Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

5 Professor of Biostatistics and Head of the Research Center of Prevention and Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Disease, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

Abstract

Abstract
Background
Self-concept plays an important role in understanding behavioral patterns. Self-concept refers to one's beliefs and feelings about oneself, including one's awareness of psychological, physical, and social characteristics. The purpose of the present study is to explain Iranian adolescent girls' self-concepts of eating behaviors.
Materials and Methods
In this qualitative study, conventional content analysis was used and participants were selected through purposeful sampling. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 42 adolescent girls in Shiraz and continued until data saturation was achieved. The data were analyzed according to Graneheim and Lundman content analysis.
Results
From analysis of the data, six categories for adolescent girls' self-concepts were drawn including (1) physical self concept, (2) social self concept, (3) academic self concept, (4) self satisfaction, (5) self confidence, and (6) self esteem. These self-concepts included subcategories of effective eating behaviors on appearance, physical energy status, morals, academic performance, satisfaction and happiness, self confidence and popularity and respect.
Conclusion
Adolescent girls' self-concepts of eating behaviors encompasses a wide range of dimensions such as physical, social, academic, self satisfaction, self confidence and self esteem, and their identification is one of the determinants of the development of intention to adopt healthy eating behaviors.
Key words
Adolescent, Eating behaviors, Qualitative study, Self-concept

Keywords