Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Kendra Kattleman


The objective of this study is to determine whether Project Y.E.A.H., Youngadults Eating and Active for Health (YEAH), a theory-based, web-delivered, weight maintenance tool developed for 18-24 year-olds, was effective in improving fruit and vegetable intake (FVI), metabolic minutes (MET) of physical activity (PA), managing stress, and life satisfaction scores when grouped by Stages of Change (SOC) and in moving participants from “pre-action” [Precontemplation (P) + Contemplation/Preparation (CP)] to “action” [Action/Maintenance (AM)] SOC. Y.E.A.H. was developed and implemented by 13 universities as a 10-week intervention with interactive lessons and email “nudges” tailored using Transtheoretical Model SOC. The current study is a secondary analysis of the results from participants, who completed assessments at baseline, 3 month post-intervention, and 15 month post follow-up. Data from participants were grouped by self-reported SOC at baseline for: consumption of ≥5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day, 30 minutes of physical activity on 3-5 days per week, and effectively practicing stress management. Participants were grouped by SOC (P, CP, AM) for respective behaviors (FVI, PA and stress) at baseline and differences for respective behaviors at post-intervention and follow-up were determined using PROC MIXED repeated measures analysis with SAS (SAS, version 9.3, SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC)(p-value ≤0.05). Participant movement from P+CP to AM SOC in control and experimental groups were evaluated using a chi-square statistic. P experimental participants maintained Walking METs from baseline through follow-up while P control participants significantly decreased. There was a significant decrease in Total MET-minutes in the AM experimental participants from baseline to post-intervention which was maintained at follow-up. Control participants significantly decreased from baseline to follow-up, but maintained from baseline to post-intervention with significantly higher amounts of Total METs than experimental participants. Life Satisfaction in the AM experimental group significantly increased from baseline to postintervention, and was maintained into follow-up. At post-intervention, there was a significant difference in FVI staging, with a greater percentage of experimental participants staging in AM than control participants. These differences were maintained through follow-up. Significant differences were also found at post-intervention in PA with a higher percentage of experimental participants in AM stages. Using an intervention tool that is tailored by SOC was successful in maintaining Walking METs over all three time points of data collection and Total METs of PA from post-intervention to follow-up. This intervention was also successful in moving a higher percentage of participants into Action stages at post-intervention for FVI and was able to maintain the same movement for PA at follow-up. Increasing life satisfaction can reduce overall stress and improve weight-related health behaviors in emerging adulthood and improve long-term health outcomes which this study was successful in achieving. Overall, tailoring using SOC may be a useful tool in increasing long-term physical activity and life satisfaction in emerging adults.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Health behavior
Health education
Young adults -- Nutrition
Young adults -- Exercise
College students -- Nutrition
College students -- Health and hygiene
College students -- Exercise


Includes bibliographical references (pages 33-35)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted