Development of a theory-based intervention to increase children's understanding of health

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary Beth McCullough (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:
Simone Nguyen

Abstract: The present study examined the effectiveness of a theory-based intervention in increasing 3-to 4-year-olds’ understanding (e.g., classification) and preference for healthy foods and exercise. This study used a pre-test/intervention/post-test design and children were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: theory (i.e., 20 children received the theory-based intervention); non theory (i.e., 20 children received the non theory-based intervention); and control (i.e., 20 children received no intervention). The results showed that children in the theory group performed significantly better on measures for understanding than children in the non theory and control groups. The theory group also performed significantly more accurately on the preference task, specifically on high-fat food and non exercise questions, than children in the non theory and control groups. These results suggest that theory-based interventions are effective in increasing children’s understanding and preferences for healthy behaviors, and could be used to educate children about health at a young age.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Health education (Preschool), Health promotion--Planning--Methods
Health promotion -- Planning -- Methods
Health education (Preschool)
Health education (Preschool)

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