Using a Mixed Methods Approach to Develop and Validate the Dietary Protein Assessment Questionnaire (DPAQ) for Assessing College Students' Attitudes Towards Dietary Protein
Misconceptions about protein consumption may exist due to unscientific dietary information, such as the Internet and social media platforms, as well as lack of nutrition knowledge. The Dietary Protein Assessment Questionnaire (DPAQ) was developed to examine college students’ knowledge and attitudes towards dietary protein. The attitude questions were evaluated for construct validity using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The knowledge questions were assessed for construct validity by comparing mean scores between nutrition and non-nutrition students using an independent t-test. Preliminary evidence of construct validity for the attitude and knowledge questions indicated that the DPAQ can be used among the college student population. The EFA indicated that attitudes towards protein appear multidimensional and correlated. Three experts in nutrition, including researchers with knowledge of survey development, reviewed the DPAQ for content validity. Face validity was assessed by conducting cognitive interviews with nutrition and non-nutrition students. Three problem areas were identified from the analyses of the cognitive interviews: 1) variable interpretation of terms; 2) confusing/complex wording; and 3) limited answer choices. In addition to these problem areas, one question was added. The remaining steps of the DPAQ validation process include reassessing construct validity of the knowledge and attitude questions, and examining internal and temporal reliability. Once validated, the DPAQ can be used to create effective interventions for improving the nutrition knowledge and, ultimately, health, of college students.
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