ERIC Number: EJ1018726
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Examining Variations in Fourth-Grade Children's Participation in School Breakfast and Lunch Programs by Student and Program Demographics
Guinn, Caroline H.; Baxter, Suzanne Domel; Finney, Christopher J.; Hitchcock, David B.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v37 n1 Spr 2013
Purpose/Objectives: Analyses were conducted to examine variations in fourth-grade children's participation in school-breakfast and school-lunch programs by weekday, month, socioeconomic status, absenteeism, gender, and school-breakfast location. Methods: Fourth-grade children were participants in a dietary-reporting validation study during either the 2005-2006 or 2006-2007 school years in 17 or 8 schools, respectively, in one South Carolina school district. For the two school years, the location of the school breakfast was the classroom for 6 and 7 schools, respectively, and the cafeteria for the remaining schools. District administrative records provided information about 180 possible days of participation in the school breakfast and lunch programs for each of 1,060 children (91% Black, 52% girls). The state's Office of Research and Statistics linked data on school-meal participation with information about individual children's socioeconomic status (eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals) and annual absenteeism from school. Results: For school-provided breakfast, logistic regression showed participation rate differences by weekday (smallest for Monday [56.1%], largest for Wednesday [57.8%], "p" < 0.001), month (smallest for April [53.5%], largest for September [60.8%], "p" < 0.001), socioeconomic status (smallest for full-price status [27.5%], largest for free-meal status [63.4%], "p" < 0.001), school-breakfast location (smaller for breakfast located in the cafeteria [38%] than classroom [71%], "p" < 0.001), and absenteeism ("p" < 0.001). For school-provided lunch, logistic regression showed participation rate differences by weekday (smallest for Friday [81.9%], largest for Thursday [83.3%], "p" < 0.001), month (smallest for May [78.7%], largest for August [86.0%], "p" < 0.001), socioeconomic status (smallest for full-price status [72.1%], largest for free-meal status [84.9%], "p" < 0.001), and absenteeism ("p" < 0.001). There were no differences in participation rate by gender. Applications for Child Nutrition Professionals: Administrative participation records are used for forecasting purchasing and production. Using such records in research studies may provide insight into factors influencing children's participation in school-provided meals. Districts and managers are encouraged to share administrative records of children's participation in school-provided meals with researchers.
Descriptors: Grade 4, Elementary School Students, Lunch Programs, Breakfast Programs, Attendance, Socioeconomic Status, Gender Differences, School Districts, Eligibility, Regression (Statistics), Records (Forms), Purchasing
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 4; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A