Social influences on self-regulation of eating behavior in adolescents
01 / 2009 - 03 / 2014
My PhD project is a part of Tempest, a large multinational research project on the prevention of obesity in children and adolescents. Within Tempest, my project will focus on children’s and adolescents’ self-regulatory competence – the extent to which they themselves are able to keep their eating habits in check. It has been proven that existing interventions, often focusing on the environment, are not very effective. Our idea is that for environmental interventions to work, something within the adolescents themselves will also have to be altered; they need to have knowledge, skills and competencies in order to benefit from such interventions. In other words, their self-regulatory competence must be addressed. My research will encompass the development of a new scale, the Self-Regulatory Competence Scale, which should measure self-regulatory competence for eating behaviors specifically. Moreover, I will investigate how one’s social environment (especially the existing social norms) has an impact on this self-regulatory competence. My research will include questionnaire studies amongst adolescents (recruited mainly via schools or over the internet) as well as experimental studies with college students as well as with the target group.