Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Education

First Advisor

Brown, Stephen


Since Web-based interventions have a significantly high rate of attrition ranging from 99.5% to 77.5%, the researcher employed an instrumental case study approach to understand compliance in a Web-portal. The specific issue for this study was attrition rates and how SCT constructs affected eating competence. Qualitative data provided ground zero insight to a complex issue that was further understood. To better understand the phenomenon, participants that registered for the 30-day study and the software developer were interviewed. All interviews (n=6) were transcribed and data from the transcriptions were transformed from dialogues, into categories, then themes, and finally into concepts. Five guidelines to keep attrition rates low was the outcome of the data analysis. Having a nation interested in the Internet and at the same time faced with an obesity epidemic seemed to be a good fit for researching a method to promote eating competence with interactive technology. Eating competence intertwines four components: (1) attitudes about eating and the enjoyment of food (2) accepting new food to add variety to your diet (3) being able to eat the right amount of food and (4) being able to manage food through proper planning, storing, preparing, and offering. With the above information extracted from the literature, it was determined, a serious enough problem existed to justify spending time, money and other resources to develop and implement an intervention. The theoretical framework supporting the development of the web portal is the social cognitive theory (SCT). In health promotion, the purpose of the SCT is to help people stay healthy through good self-management of health habits. This dissertation focused on four constructs: self-efficacy, behavioral capabilities, observational learning, and reinforcement to better understand how eating competence skills were enhanced and attrition rates lowered.




This dissertation is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.