Formative evaluation of a parental involvement program for obesity prevention with low-income elementary school children
This study addresses the responses to a postcard campaign with health messages targeting the parents of children in a sample of low-income elementary schools and assesses the feasibility and areas of possible improvements in such a project. The campaign was implemented in Spring 2009 with 4 th grade students (n=1070) in fifteen economically disadvantaged elementary schools in Travis County, Texas. Postcards were sent home with children, and parents filled out a feedback card that the children returned to school. Response data, in the form of self-administered feedback cards (n=2665) and one-on-one teacher interviews (n=8), were qualitatively analyzed using NVivo 8 software. Postcard reception and points of improvement were then identified from the significant themes that emerged including health, cessation or reduction of unhealthy behaviors, motivation, family, and the comprehension of abstract health concepts. Responses to the postcard campaign were almost completely positive, with less than 1% of responses reporting some sort of dislike, and many parents reported a modification of their behavior. However, possible improvements that could be made to the campaign are: increased focus of the postcards on the parents as the target population, increased information about serving size, greater emphasis on the link between obesity and health, alteration of certain skin tones used in the graphical depiction of people on the cards, and smaller but more frequent incentives to return the feedback cards for the students. The program appears to be an effective method of communicating health messages to the parents of 4th grade children.
Lerew, George G, "Formative evaluation of a parental involvement program for obesity prevention with low-income elementary school children" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1474799.