Publication Date

Spring 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging


Susan Chen

Subject Areas



The goal of this thesis was to develop a valid and reliable questionnaire to measure food waste knowledge, attitudes, and motivations of adolescents aged 13 to 17 in the United States (U.S.). This questionnaire was created with the objective to address gaps in adolescent food waste literature and to aid the creation and refinement of targeted food waste programs and policies. Questions were specific to the home, school, and restaurant settings, as well as, behaviors related to discarding food, composting food, and food expiration. Additionally, the questionnaire sought to understand how friendships and familial relationships affect adolescent food waste-related behaviors. The adaptation and validation of this questionnaire involved five main phases: (1) item adaptation and generation, (2) content validity by expert review, (3) cognitive testing of targeted subjects, (4) construct validity, and (5) internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Six items were removed due to poor internal consistency, resulting in a 44-item questionnaire. The number of subscales identified in each scale is as follows: Home (4), School (4), Restaurant (3), Throw (3), Expire (2), Compost (1), and Relatability (2). The Relatability (α=0.791, p<0.001) and Compost (α=0.875, p<0.001) scales had the greatest internal consistency and reliability. All scales, except for Restaurant (r= 0.229, p=0.121), demonstrated test-retest reliability. These validated scales within the questionnaire can be used independently or in combination with one another. Further studies should investigate how to motivate the adolescent population to practice sustainable food habits such as reducing food waste.

Available for download on Thursday, February 27, 2025