Perceptions and influences on adolescents' attitudes toward modern conventional and organic foods
Metadata[+] Show full item record
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Adolescents are the future of the food market. Their purchasing power and influence will only increase as time goes forward. This consumer power must be described so the agriculture industry and legislative bodies can prepare for new consumer demands. This study is important to evaluate the scope of information on food production students possess and are receiving. Adolescents are exposed to large amounts of influencing factors which may or may not be accurate to the understood production of food. As educators, it is important for us to identify trustworthy and accurate sources of information for adolescents while also debunking sources of information which do not provide trustworthy and accurate information. The design used for this study was descriptive survey research which explored the perceptions and influences on adolescents' food preferences. A questionnaire on food perceptions from North Dakota State University and researcher modified survey questions were used for data collection. The study was administered through an online Qualtrics survey for participants to complete. Participants surveyed came from three high schools with a total response of N=103. The survey consisted of four sections including evaluating participant's knowledge, perceptions, influences and trust in information sources to food production. Participant demographics were also collected. Short responses, 5-Point Likert-scales, and rankings were utilized in the four sections. Categories were created for responses to food production definitions. Items on Likert-scales were averaged for means along with standard deviations calculated for the findings. Frequencies for information sources were reported in tables. Key findings of this study included, baseline knowledge of modern conventional and organic production is lacking with a quarter of respondents noting limited knowledge on the subject. Second, definitions of production types were often not accurate with accepted industry definitions. Next, adolescents in the study did not respond with polarized perceptions of modern conventional or organic production. Finally, participants receive and trust the greatest amount of information from school and parents. Based on the conclusions of this study, it is recommended that targeted education on food production content should be provided to students to lessen the gap in production knowledge. Adolescents are in a time of development where they can be easily influenced. Thus, providing accurate food production information that matches industry standards is important. School and parents are where participants received the most production knowledge from, making these sources the most important to have accurate information. To assist with the continued improvement to food production knowledge among adolescents, further research should be provided on when adolescents may develop more polarized perceptions of food production. Furthermore, important information sources like school and parents should be broken down and described qualitatively to deepen the understanding on their influence on adolescents.
Access to files is limited to the University of Missouri--Columbia.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.