Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION
Evaluating a Targeted, Universal Middle School Program for Childhood Overweight and Obesity: StayingFit
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
Washington University in St. Louis, 2016
Professor Denise E. Wilfley, Chairperson
Childhood obesity is a pressing public health concern associated with significant medical and psychosocial comorbidities. Intervention is crucial, and schools are often suggested as an important venue through which to intervene, although the results of such interventions are inconsistent and mixed. The present study sought to expand on the literature by evaluating the effect of a targeted and universal school-based obesity intervention, StayingFit, in three middle schools in a low-socioeconomic status, rural community. The intervention was tested in both a cluster-randomized (Study 1) and pre-post (Study 2) design. StayingFit was largely ineffective in creating changes in relative weight, behavior, or psychosocial outcomes. Possible reasons for the ineffectiveness of the intervention include the nature of the population and community, insufficient use of behavioral strategies and technology, limited program duration, low completion rates, and lack of parental engagement. Further research is needed to design multi-level and multi-sector interventions that can create meaningful change in high-risk communities.
Chair and Committee
Denise E. Wilfley
Thomas Rodenaugh, Michael J. Strube, Deanna Barch, Barr C. Taylor,
Altman, Myra, "Evaluating a Targeted, Universal Middle School Program for Childhood Overweight and Obesity: StayingFit" (2017). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1263.