Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
ABSTRACT Lifestyle factors related to overweight, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes are currently in the forefront of health issues affecting children and adolescents. Schools have been considered important venues for disseminating health education and promotion programs. Some investigators, however, contend that school-based programs have only seen modest success over the last two decades. Typically short-term, school-based interventions do not address program sustainability or larger social issues such as socioeconomic status (SES). A growing body of literature suggests there is value in collaborative efforts between university researchers and communities as these relationships can help build the capacity of the school and community. The Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) model was developed as a mechanism to build the organizational capacity of schools to facilitate, integrate and sustain health education and promotion efforts to improve the health of youth in our nation. The purpose of the current study was to assess a mid-western middle school's capacity to sustain a previously implemented Type 2 diabetes prevention program. An instrumental case study design was utilized. A total of 19 interviews were conducted. Additionally, observations and documents related to school policies and procedures were reviewed. The four infrastructures of the CSHP framework were used as predetermined categories into which data were coded. This study found that there was potential for the school to sustain the Type 2 diabetes program within the framework of the CSHP Model. The school already had in place five of the eight CSHP components. The three remaining components could be implemented if several issues were addressed. First, there were many myths and misconceptions regarding the purpose and costs of a CSHP. Education for district administrators, school faculty and staff, as well as the community, would be vital. Concerns regarding personnel to implement a CSHP were expressed. A dedicated health course would also need to be implemented. When planning health related interventions that will be implemented in school-based settings researchers should seriously consider implementing a CSHP prior to employing their short-term programs. If programs can be planned with sustainability in mind, there is potential for greater health outcomes for school-aged children and adolescents.
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