Assessing the Use of Social Cognitive Theory Components in Cooking and Food Skills Interventions

Paola Gordillo, Melissa Pflugh Prescott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Increased cooking skill development may reduce the risk of disease and promote healthy eating behaviors in the home. The social cognitive theory (SCT) is one of the most common theories used in cooking and food skill interventions. This narrative review aims to understand how commonly each SCT component is implemented in cooking interventions, as well as identifying which components are associated with positive outcomes. The literature review was conducted using three databases: PubMed, Web of Science (FSTA and CAB), and CINHAL, yielding thirteen included research articles. None of the studies in this review comprehensively included all SCT components; at most, five of the seven were defined. The most prevalent SCT components were behavioral capability, self-efficacy, and observational learning, and the least implemented component was expectations. All studies included in this review yielded positive outcomes for cooking self-efficacy and frequency, except for two studies with null outcomes. Findings from this review suggest that the SCT may not be fully realized, and future studies should continue to define how theory influences intervention design for adult cooking interventions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 4 2023


  • adult
  • social cognitive theory
  • cooking
  • self-efficacy
  • behavior


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