Master of Science (MS)


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



This study developed a questionnaire to estimate young adults’ motivation to prepare healthy foods based on the psychological needs identified by the Self-Determination Theory. Participants (n=507; mean age 20.2±1.9 years; 63% female) were recruited to complete the questionnaire. Due to incomplete responses, data from 492 individuals were analyzed (63% female). Racial/ethnic representation was 360 (71%) Caucasian, 78 (15%) African American, 25 (5%) Hispanic/Latino, 41 (8%) other/mixed race, and 3 participants who did not indicate race/ethnicity. Participants were asked to indicate the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with 25 statements using a 5-point Likert scale. Statements evaluated the participants’ intrinsic motivation and perceived competence to prepare healthy foods, perceived autonomy and autonomy support, and feelings of relatedness to peers. Data collected were analyzed using exploratory factor analysis (EFA), internal consistency reliability using Cronbach’s alpha, and test-retest reliability. A KMO statistic of 0.89 indicated sufficient correlation among items. The EFA returned five factors that explained 56.5% of the variance. All items in the five factors were retained and each factor had acceptable internal consistency (Perceived Competence: α = 0.93; Intrinsic Motivation: α = 0.87; Autonomy Support: α = 0.85; Autonomy: α = 0.78; Relatedness: α = 0.77) and Pearson correlation coefficients indicated acceptable test-retest reliability and ranged from 0.66 to 0.79. The results from this preliminary study suggest that the Young Adult Motivation to Cook Questionnaire has the potential to evaluate the Self-Determination Theory constructs of intrinsic motivation, perceived competence, autonomy support, autonomy, and relatedness. Further testing is necessary to confirm the relationship among the variables and latent constructs and divergent and convergent validity.



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Committee Chair

Tuuri, Georgianna



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Life Sciences Commons