Date of Award



© 2016 Cassandra Crawford-Ciglar

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Carey Clark

Second Advisor

John Lustig

Third Advisor

Jerrid Freeman


Behavior change is a process. College students routinely have poor eating habits during a time of life that can negatively impact health outcomes for the adult years. While knowledge of nutrition is essential to promote health and wellness, other components are required to change behavior. Specifically, nutrition education must be paired with behavior change skills or goal setting strategies in order for a change to occur. In a college classroom setting, many examples of such strategies already exist. Literature supports evidence that interventions combining social media and behavior change techniques incorporating online social networks may be effective. The purpose of this comparative analysis, quantitative study is to assess college students in a general education nutrition course and their resultant lifestyle behavior changes as demonstrated by alterations in readiness to change and dietary intake. The course was supported with social media and 108 participants were invited to participate in the study from ages 18-50 years old, living in rural, Mid-western United States. Eligible participants were currently enrolled in a general education nutrition course and completed a required 24 hour food diary assignments at Week 2 and Week 14, and a social media participation survey. Data was compared to archival data from a previous course not supported with social media (N=90). Significant results were seen in two of six areas as college students did alter dietary intake of dairy and protein food groups as a result of participation in this study. Further research is warranted to continue to develop best practice approaches for nutrition education using social media and its intended audiences for the promotion of healthy lifestyle behavior changes.


Ed.D. Dissertation