PhD Dissertation

Motivating Healthy Drinking Behaviors among Children
The Effects of the Share H2O Social Network Intervention

Some children have a strong influence on their peers. Deploying these so-called "peer influencers" in health campaigns has become very popular in recent years. But to what extent do peer influencers actually affect the health behavior of their peers? And how do you motivate peer influencers to promote the desired health behavior?

The aim of my PhD project was to investigate how peer influencers can be motivated to drink more water themselves and subsequently promote this among their peers. During my PhD project, I developed the Share H2O social network intervention where peer influencers were deployed and intrinsically motivated based on insights from self-determination theory.


The results of my dissertation showed that the Share H2O intervention was a promising way to motivate children to drink more water instead of sugary drinks. It is also demonstrated the importance of focusing on increasing the intrinsic motivation of peer influencers so that they can successfully promote desired health behaviors.