Date of Award

8-1-2011

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Food and Nutrition

First Advisor

Peterson, Sharon

Abstract

AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF TRINITY F. ALLISON, for the Master of Science degree in HUMAN NUTRITION & DIETETICS, presented on JUNE 16, 2010, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: FEASIBILITY OF TRANSITIONING A COMMUNITY-BASED TYPE 2 DIABETES PREVENTION PROGRAM FOR AT-RISK ADOLESCENTS TO AN AFTER-SCHOOL FORMAT USING PROCESS EVALUATION AND PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Sharon Peterson Childhood obesity is increasing rapidly. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, 30.4% of all 12-19 year olds are overweight or obese.1 This increase contributes to a higher risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and highlights the need for T2DM prevention programs targeting high-risk adolescents. Although several programs have reported success, few published studies have used formative assessment, process evaluations, and/or Participatory Action Research (PAR) to determine the most successful components, barriers to implementation, and feasibility of after-school T2DM prevention programs for at-risk adolescents. The purpose of this study was to conduct a process evaluation using PAR to determine recommendations for implementing an after-school program aimed at reducing risk of T2DM in at-risk adolescents. "R.U.A. Healthy Kid?" was found to be widely accepted among participants and teachers. Subjective comments from students commonly included themes focusing on the "fun", "educational", and "interactive" approach to T2DM prevention in at-risk adolescents. Results from meetings with key informants also indicated "R.U.A. Healthy Kid?" would be well received as an after-school program. Researchers found relationships with school nurses and other school health professionals to be helpful in overcoming barriers. Interaction with college students was a major strength cited by participants and teachers. Several areas within the lesson plans and surveys were identified as needing further revisions.

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