Relationship of Social Cognitive Theory Concepts to Dietary Habits of Pregnant Women

Nasrin Torkan, Ashraf Kazemi, Zamzam Paknahad, Parvin Bahadoran


Background: Nutrition during pregnancy is undoubtedly one of the most important factors affecting maternal health. In this regard, considering the cognitive‑behavioral factors associated with feeding, behaviors will play an important role in the effectiveness of interventions. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the correlation between food habits and structures of social cognitive theory in pregnant women.

Materials and Methods: In this cross‑sectional study, 192 pregnant women were randomly selected. Data were collected using a questionnaire based on the social cognitive theory structures and food habits questionnaire in the questioning manner and was also analyzed using Pearson correlation and multiple linear regression with the software Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, version 19. Results: There was a significant correlation between nutritional behavior with self‑regulation (p = 0.001), self‑efficacy (p = 0.001), outcome expectations (p = 0.001), social support (p = 0.002), and access (p = 0.001). A significant correlation was observed between lack of consumption of unnecessary and unhelpful food with self‑regulation (p = 0.02). In the multivariable regression analysis, only self‑regulation revealed significant and direct contribution in relation to nutritional behavior (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Results of this study showed that self‑regulation is one of the important factors associated with feeding behavior in pregnant women so that it is suggested to be considered in nutritional interventions in order to improve nutritional behavior.


Dietary habits, fast food, food pyramid, nutritional behavior, pregnant women, social cognitive theory

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