Does Migration Affect Adolescents’ Eating Behaviour? a Comparison of Turks in Germany and Turkey

  • A. Steinhilber
  • B. Dohnke


Unhealthy eating behaviour is a health issue among adolescent Turkish migrants in Germany and among adolescents in Turkey. To develop effective interventions, it is important to identify relevant social-cognitive determinants of eating behaviour for both groups and to find out how the migration experience affects these social-cognitive factors. The present study combined research on migration with the prototype-willingness model (PWM) for the explanation of eating behaviour. PMW-variables were assessed via questionnaire and compared cross-sectionally across adolescent Turkish migrants (n = 102) and adolescent Turks (n = 270) using multiple-group SEM. Latent mean differences and associations of variables were analysed. Levels of PWM-variables were more favourable in Turkish migrants than in Turks. Turkish migrants’ eating behaviour was predicated via the reasoned action pathway, whereas Turks’ eating behaviour was predicted via both the social-reaction pathway and the reasoned action pathway. Migration seems to affect both levels of PWM-variables and which PWM-variables are relevant for the prediction of eating behaviour. Implications for theory and interventions are discussed.
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