'How do you remember you ate.. .?': A Delphi technique study to identify retrieval categories from fourth-grade children

Suzanne Domel Baxter, William O. Thompson, Harry C. Davis, Maribeth H. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


To develop and validate a consensus set of retrieval categories for how children remember what they have eaten, and to relate retrieval categories to accuracy of reporting items eaten during school lunch. A Delphi technique study was conducted using 10 psychologists. The subject matter consisted of responses transcribed from interviews conducted with 89 randomly selected fourth graders within 90 minutes of eating. Retrieval categories were evaluated for accuracy by comparing students' self-reported lunch intake with observation. For round 1, a centroid hierarchical cluster analysis was used to identify common sets of rating pairs to propose categories for reaching consensus. For rounds 2 and 3, percent of agreement was calculated. Accuracy was tabulated across meal items and student use by retrieval category. After round 3, we found that 23 "near-consensus" categories were used by at least eight raters. Six categories were used 60% of the time, 4 were used 20% of the time, and 5 were used 15% of the time. Less frequently used categories were combined with similar, more frequently used categories for a total of 16 categories. Students used a large variety of retrieval categories when accurately reporting consumption. Of the 16 categories, 12 were used similarly by both accurate and inaccurate students. Where there were differences in accuracy by retrieval category, the more accurate students used "taste/smell/texture" and 'Visual" in deference to "order items consumed" and "oral cue still present." These categories provide insight into the broad range of retrieval categories that children use and provide direction for researchers to design and study specific cues to enhance the accuracy of children's self-reports of diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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