ERIC Number: EJ1079365
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
School Wellness Policy Implementation: Attitudes of School Professionals and Parents in Elementary Schools
Molaison, Elaine Fontenot; Carr, Deborah H.; Federico, Holly A.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v32 n2 Fall 2008
Purpose/Objectives: The purpose of this research was to explore the attitudes and barriers related to the implementation of the local wellness policy (LWP) in the elementary school setting. Methods: Researchers used a two-phase approach. Phase I included focus group interviews with school nutrition directors, principals, teachers, parents, and other individuals involved with implementation of the LWP to identify issues surrounding policy implementation. In phase II, 2,800 questionnaires were distributed to school nutrition directors, principals, teachers, and parents from all seven USDA regions. Results: A total of 575 surveys were used in the final data analysis, with nearly equal numbers of participants in each group. Slightly more than half reported playing a role in implementing the wellness policy. Participants ranked meeting the USDA requirements for school meals as the most important component in implementing an LWP. Respondents considered encouraging students to eat healthy was their primary responsibility in implementing the policy and believed the wellness policy would improve physical fitness among elementary students. Having a clean and sanitary cafeteria and a safe and secure campus were most commonly agreed upon as important for a healthy school environment. In addition, respondents strongly agreed they needed training on strategies to implement the school wellness policy. Application to Child Nutrition Professionals: Support from administration, teachers, and parents is necessary to implement, manage, and evaluate an LWP. Additionally, adequate training and credible resources can lay a foundation for achieving the LWP goals, providing strategies for effective LWP implementation, and fostering the need for a collaborative LWP team.
Descriptors: School Policy, Wellness, Physical Fitness, Barriers, Elementary School Students, Focus Groups, Interviews, Nutrition, Administrator Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Parent Attitudes, Principals, Questionnaires, Health Behavior, Health Promotion, Dining Facilities, Sanitation, School Safety, Cooperation, Elementary School Teachers
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Sponsor: US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
Authoring Institution: N/A