Intraclass correlation for measures from a middle school nutrition intervention study: Estimates, correlates, and applications

David M. Murray, Glenn A. Phillips, Amanda S. Birnbaum, Leslie A. Lytle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


This article presents the first estimates of school-level intraclass correlation for dietary measures based on data from the Teens Eating for Energy and Nutrition at School study. This study involves 3,878 seventh graders from 16 middle schools from Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota. The sample was 66.8% White, 11.2% Black, and 7.0% Asian; 48.8% of the sample was female. Typical fruit and vegetable intake was assessed with a modified version of the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System questionnaire. Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls were conducted by nutritionists using the Minnesota Nutrition Data System. Mixed-model regression methods were used to estimate variance components for school and residual error, both before and after adjustment for demographic factors. School-level intraclass correlations were large enough, if ignored, to substantially inflate the Type I error rate in an analysis of treatment effects. The authors show how to use the estimates to determine sample size requirements for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-679
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2001


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