Development and validation of a stages of change algorithm for calcium consumption
This study examined the validity of the stages of change algorithm in assessing calcium intake. Three hundred seventy-six college-aged females at a private university were randomly selected to participate. After 9.2% of the data was removed, the sample consisted of 344 females. Each subject completed three self-report instruments including a stages of change algorithm, calcium score sheet, and a demographic survey. Data demonstrated a linear increase in dairy calcium intake levels between precontemplation, contemplation/preparation, and action/maintenance. Further, there was a significant difference (p < .05) among the three stages. Results also showed individuals in maintenance to be consuming the Dietary Reference Intake level of 1,000 mg. of calcium. This study suggests that the stages of change algorithm may be used as an effective tool in assessing calcium intake among a college female population.