Generational differences in psychosocial predictors of fat-related dietary behavior in Chinese Americans

Doreen Liou, Isobel R. Contento

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the usefulness of variables from psychosocial models of health behavior in explaining fat-related dietary behaviors among a sample of first and second generation Chinese Americans living in New York City. A survey questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 743 Chinese Americans, ranging in age from 21 to 73. The questionnaire measured demographic factors, degree of acculturation, and psychosocial scales derived from the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Health Belief Model. The dependent measures assessed were behaviors related to the selection of reduced-fat diets. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the association of the psychosocial factors with the dependent outcomes. For first generation Chinese, attitude, perceived barriers, and self-efficacy contributed to 19% of the variance of behaviors related to fat reduction. In the second generation sample, attitude, perceived barriers, and overall health concern accounted for 39% of the variance in the prediction of dietary fat reduction behaviors. Predictability of behavioral intention using these psychosocial factors ranged from 49% to 58%. Nutrition educators need to acknowledge the salience of specific psychosocial factors highlighted in each generation of Chinese Americans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-251
Number of pages19
JournalEcology of Food and Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Chinese Americans
  • Dietary behavior
  • Psychosocial theory


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