Self Efficacy Theory/Social Cognitive Theory

Target Population: Adolescents (Kids ages 11-14)


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Target Issue: Nutrition/Diet


Use the tenants and concepts from self efficacy theory and social cognitive theory to promote healthy eating among an adolescent population. Your PSA can focus on diet choices in a target population (diabetic adolescents, obese adolescents, etc.) or simply the adolescent population in general. The campaign should include:

  1. Determinants of self efficacy (especially the STRONGEST determinant – past performance!)
  2. Barriers/barriers efficacy
  3. Tenants of social cognitive theory (such as modeling, parental influence, reinforcement)
  4. Outcome expectations
  5. Self Regulation and self regulatory efficacy
  6. Social support
  7. Knowledge


Further, the main focal points of your campaign should appeal to this population! Remember – the focus is on nutrition! While exercise might be included (as a part of an overall healthy lifestyle) the intervention components need to be focused on nutrition behaviors.


The media campaign should consist of any of the following:

  • Commercials (You can use video!)
  • Posters
  • Internet Sites, campaigns (through Facebook, Google Sites, etc…)
  • Websites (through, etc.)
  • Brochures
  • Pamphlets
  • Apps
  • PowerPoint campaigns and/or seminars
  • A combination of methods! Feel free to use multiple forms of media for one PSA
  • (Other ideas are welcome with prior approval)
  • *You should use a different form of media for each PSA that you complete. Facebook campaigns and websites are considered different formats.


The campaign should be an accurate representation of the current research as well as an informative way to motivate change in your assigned audience. Two things must be very obvious to me within the PSA…that you focused on the appropriate theory (almost overtly!) and that you directed your strategies and tips to the target population.


We will start each learning module with a short case study. This case study will discuss a specific population (for example, children; middle-aged adults; elderly adults, etc…) Your PSA will focus on your target population and the theory of the specific learning module (example: Self Efficacy Theory; Self Determination Theory, etc…)


You want to make sure that your public service announcement presents background information on your topic and gives targeted creative and informative ways to make changes (focusing on the specific theory, and the target population). **Please make sure that the PSA is appropriate for the population you are addressing. Also, please make it evident that your strategies are strictly targeting main aspects of the theory of interest. (For example, if you are trying to motivate someone based on the self determination theory, it needs to be very obvious that you are targeting their intrinsic motivation levels and basic human needs (among other things)).


Each PSA MUST have an APA styled reference page (*can be included separately) with a minimum of TWELVE sources: SEVEN SOURCES MUST BE Peer Reviewed Scholarly Resources (Meta Analytic Reviews and Narrative Reviews WILL count as one of your five scholarly sources although they are secondary; “good secondary” websites such as .edu and .org; as well as books will NOT count as one of your seven primary sources but they may be used; other mainstream websites may also be used as one of your twelve sources.) 


You will also cite your media credits on your reference page. For your media credits, you ARE allowed to simply list the website and/or link. Media credits do NOT need to be in full APA style. However, media credits should be included and should be included SEPARATELY from your APA styled reference page. You will have one list for References, and one list for Media Credits. 


*Your sources can be included in a “credits” format at the end of a commercial/presentation, and can be included either on a brochure/poster or on a separate sheet for brochures/posters. Depending on the format of your project, you may or may not be using in text citations. Photos may or may not have photo credits listed on the PSA, but they must (at least) be included in a separate credit sheet. Be aware of proper formatting!


Finally, you will include a quick description sheet (a Word document) that succinctly and effectively explains components of your PSA. This is to somewhat “protect your grade” in case some of the items (pictures/videos, etc.) do not overtly (on their own) show me how they relate to the theory or audience. Your description sheet should be useful and concise and will be a ONE page (maximum) document describing the parts of your PSA, and explaining how they effectively utilize important components of the theory to promote change in your population. Basically, it is a chance to explain yourself! Why did you include the things that you did? How do they fit the main tenants of the theory?


  • Your sheet should be an (up to) one page description
  • You should succinctly describe how/why your recommendations, tips, and ideas relate to the current theory and target population
  • This may be the most beneficial when the videos/pictures/recommendations may not overtly (on their own) show me how they relate.
  • This is an important piece of “selling” your PSA: the purpose and effectiveness of the project
  • This part is worth 10 points! Do not take it lightly! Further, if your PSA is not described well, it may also impact your overall PSA grade if I do not know what the purpose and point of your materials are.

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