The Effects of Teacher Communication During a Health Intervention on Older Adolescents’ Predictors of Health Behaviour
Keywords:interpersonal communication, health behaviour, adolescents, school-based intervention, teacher communication
This study investigated the influence of teacher communication behaviours on predictors of alcohol use, snack intake, and physical exercise during a school-based health intervention. Additionally, we investigated whether students’ evaluations of the intervention mediated these effects. In a two-way prospective study, 389 adolescents (222 females; Mage = 16.64, SDage = 1.97) completed a survey. Key variables were teacher communication behaviours (i.e., clarity, verbal immediacy, and content relevance), predictors (i.e., attitudes, social norms, perceived behavioural control, and intentions) of alcohol use, snack intake, and physical exercise, and students’ evaluations of the health intervention were investigated. Results showed that teacher clarity resulted in significantly healthier injunctive norms and higher perceived behavioural control regarding alcohol use, and for exercise in significantly healthier attitudes, descriptive norms, and intentions to exercise. No effects of teacher clarity were found for snack intake. Furthermore, teacher clarity, verbal immediacy, and content relevance did not indirectly result in healthier predictors of health behaviour through evaluations of the intervention. Findings support the role of teacher clarity for intervention effectiveness, and advise designers of health interventions to incorporate the role of teacher clarity in their teacher training programs to achieve more desired changes in health behaviour.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Mathijs Mesman, Hanneke Hendriks, Simone Onrust, Bas van den Putte
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