Date of Conferral

2018

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Derrick Copper

Abstract

Poor diet quality is a source of morbidity and mortality within the United States. Previous researchers have examined psychosocial influences on diet; however, the relationship between life chaos, a psychosocial measure, and diet quality was not known. The purpose of this cross-sectional survey study was to use the Life Chaos Scale and the Healthy Eating Indexâ??2010 to collect data on life chaos and diet quality, consistent with the biopsychosocial model of health, from a sample of 103 U.S. adults. Regression analysis was used to construct a predictive model. According to the study results, life chaos was not a significant predictor of diet quality (p = .699), although household income, when added to the model, was a predictor of diet quality (p = .011). Although there was no relationship between life chaos and diet quality, life chaos could be found universally throughout household income levels. Additionally, diet quality had a negative correlation with household income. Life chaos was not a significant predictor of diet quality, while confirming the role of income in diet quality. As inequalities of health and nutrition continue to be better understood through studies such as this, social change efforts can be targeted in an evidence-based way to bring the health benefits of a high quality diet to more Americans starting with greater outreach to low-income individuals.

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