Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Theodore V. Cooper


It has been suggested that intervention efforts should focus on prevention of weight gain and the adoption of healthy eating and physical activity behaviors. There is a dearth of literature as to what theoretically-based interventions would be most amenable and efficacious in a Hispanic college student sample. This study assessed the impact of a pilot intervention based on components derived from Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) that focused on increasing healthy eating and physical activity in Hispanic college students. Measures in the study included demographics, theoretical constructs from SDT and the TTM, eating behavior, and a food and physical activity diary. Participants (N=267) were randomized to either the Fit U intervention group or the self-monitoring only group. Both groups received training on completing food and exercise diaries, while the Fit U group also received a brief health education and motivation based intervention. Both groups returned to check-in after one week and provided follow-up data after two weeks. Inferential analyses used hierarchical regression models to predict total calorie intake, fruit and vegetable intake, eating behavior, physical activity, and perceived competence for diet and exercise. Logistic regression models were used to examine changes in motivation to engage in a healthy diet and physical activity at follow-up. Findings suggest those in the Fit U condition reported lower calorie intake (β = .143, p = .023), improvement in healthy eating behaviors (β = -.157, p < .001), increased perceived competence for diet (β = -.145, p = .007) and exercise (β = -.167, p = .003) at follow-up, and progression through the stages of change for exercise (OR = .297, p = .003). These findings suggest the feasibility and relative efficacy of the Fit U intervention and warrant further investigation on a larger scale.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

106 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Julie Ann Blow