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An Examination of Adolescents' Values in a Motivational Interviewing-based Obesity Intervention

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Objectives: In this paper, we examine values selected by adolescents as part of a motivational interviewing (MI) weight loss intervention. Methods: During a values clarification activity, adolescents (N = 52; 75.0% girls; 78.4% African-American; mean age = 13.5 ± 1.8 years; mean body mass index (BMI) = 36.8 ± 6.4 kg/m2) selected their top 5 values. Using MI, interventionists explored selected values with adolescents and related them to target behaviors to develop discrepancy and enhance motivation for engagement in behavioral weight loss behaviors. Values were categorized using thematic analysis. Frequencies of value and theme selection were examined. Results: The majority of adolescents selected values in the Health (N = 38; 73.1%), Religion/ Spirituality (N = 36; 69.2%), Personal Achievement (N = 31; 59.6%), Virtuous (N = 28; 53.8%), and Family (N = 27; 51.9%) categories. Conclusions: Values selected by adolescents with obesity can inform intervention development for this difficult to engage population.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laura J. Caccavale, Postdoctoral Health Psychology Fellow, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA;, Email: [email protected] 2: Jessica Gokee LaRose, Associate Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Policy, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA 3: Suzanne E. Mazzeo, Professor, Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 4: Melanie K. Bean, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Publication date: July 1, 2020

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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