The link between self-efficacy and nutrition knowledge beliefs: findings from South Africa

  • N.M. Xazela
  • W.T. Chinyamurindi
  • H. Shava
Keywords: Youth, self-efficacy, rural community, relationship, nutrition knowledge, well-being


Nutrition knowledge is an important factor leading to the promotion of good nutrition practice. Good nutrition practices can be linked to assisting, not only individuals, but also society in general to adopt healthy life-style practices that can prolong life. Calls exist within the literature for research that understands further how nutrition knowledge can be promoted at individual and community levels. Answering such research calls can also be the basis for useful practitioner interventions on the ground. Embedded within these calls is the need to also explore the role of individual-psychological factors on aspects of nutrition. Further, there is also need to pay attention to issues that affect the youth market, especially their attitudes towards issues related not only to nutrition practices but also nutrition knowledge. This research gives focus in determining the relationship between self-efficacy as an individual psychological factor and nutrition knowledge amongst a sample of youths residing in a rural community in South Africa. The study adopts a quantitative research approach using the survey design technique involving a sample of 150 youths residing in a rural community. The findings reveal two findings. First, concerning the age and gender, no significant effect existed with nutrition knowledge. Second, self-efficacy significantly predicted nutrition knowledge among the youth. Based on the findings, suggestions are made that promote and link individual self-efficacy beliefs to nutrition knowledge. At the core of this could be channels of expression through behaviour change and information acquisition as key conduits to promoting individual self-efficacy. Finally, practitioners on the ground can use the findings of the research as they implement targeted interventions that promote good nutrition practice. This can involve seeking ways that encourage the development of individual self-efficacy given its link (as found in this study) to nutrition knowledge.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358