Causal information on children’s attitudes and behavioural intentions toward a peer with obesity
A. Fitzgerald; C. Heary; S. Roddy
Year of publication
Background: This study examined the effect of types of causal information about overweight on children's attitudes and intentions toward a peer presented as overweight. Methods: Participants (N = 176) were randomly assigned to read a vignette of an overweight peer in one of three conditions, which varied in the explanatory information provided for the aetiology of the peer's overweight condition: biological, environmental or no causal information, along with a vignette of an average‐weight peer. Results: The provision of information that the overweight was the result of biological factors and of no causal information yielded more positive attitudes toward the overweight peer compared to those who were provided with environmental information. Information on overweight had no impact on behavioural intentions. A social desirability bias was found for each of the three experimental conditions and for the average weight condition. Conclusion: Information explaining overweight had a minimal positive effect on attitudes and no effect on intentions toward an overweight peer.