aa-40 - RESEARCH ARTICLE Results of a Rural School-Based...

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R ESEARCH A RTICLE Results of a Rural School-Based Peer-Led Intervention for Youth: Goals for Health T ANYA F ORNERIS , PhD a E LIZABETH F RIES , PhD b A LETA M EYER , PhD c M ARILYN B UZZARD , PhD d S AMY U GUY , PhD R AMESH R AMAKRISHNAN , PhD e C AROL L EWIS , PhD f S TEVEN D ANISH , PhD g ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: School-based interventions are critical for enhancing the health of youth. The Goals for Health (GFH) school-based project was a goal-setting and life-skills intervention conducted in rural areas to increase self-efficacy, knowledge, and positive behaviors related to healthy eating. The intervention was peer-led with high school students teaching health and life skills to sixth-grade students. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the GFH school-based program on healthy eating outcomes related to self-efficacy, attitudes, knowledge, and behavior, and to examine the impact of quality of program implementation on the above outcomes. METHODS: Twenty-three rural schools in Virginia (15) and New York (8) participated in the study. Twelve of the schools were intervention schools that received the 12-week GFH program. The remaining 11 were wait-list control schools. Sixth graders (n = 2120 baseline) from all schools were surveyed at 4 time points (preintervention, postintervention, 1 and 2 year follow-up). RESULTS: Results included significant change patterns across the 4 assessment points in the predicted direction for healthy eating-related self-efficacy and fat and fiber knowledge. No significant change patterns were found at follow-up for fat, fiber, or fruit and vegetable intake. Results also indicated differences across gender and ethnicity and significant findings related to quality of implementation. CONCLUSIONS: Future interventions need to provide opportunities to practice healthy living skills over an extended period of time, include components that focus on contextual change in the school and the family, and monitor program implementation. Keywords: school-based intervention; nutrition; life skills; peer-led; rural. Citation: Forneris T, Fries E, Meyer A, Buzzard M, Uguy S, Ramakrishnan R, Lewis C, Danish S. Results of a rural school-based peer-led intervention for youth: goals for health. J Sch Health. 2010; 80: 57-65. Received May 21, 2008 Accepted July 16, 2009 a Assistant Professor, ([email protected]), School of HumanKinetics, MNT376, Universityof Ottawa, 125UniversityAve., Ottawa, ONK1N6N5Canada. b Deceased—AssociateProfessor, VirginiaCommonwealthUniversity. c Health Science Administrator, ([email protected]), Prevention Research Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, 6001ExecutiveBlvd, Room5213, Bethesda, MD20892. d Professor Emeritus, ([email protected]), Department of EpidemiologyandCommunityHealth, VirginiaCommonwealthUniversity, 1000East ClayStreet, Box980212, Richmond, VA23298.
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