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Environmental Constructs Associated with School Readiness to Implement Wellness Initiatives

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Objective: In this study, we examined school and environmental factors associated with readiness to implement school-based wellness initiatives. Methods: We used an exploratory mixed methods design to assess facilitators and barriers to school wellness policy implementation. We conducted school site visits in 8 K-12 schools in one midwestern school district. We collected quantitative and qualitative data to measure school wellness environments and readiness for change. We used a one-way ANOVA to examine associations between readiness for change and school wellness environments. We analyzed qualitative data inductively; school- and district-level themes emerged. Results: One-way ANOVA results revealed schools in the high readiness (HR) group reported more active school wellness teams than those in the low readiness (LR) group (F(1,6) = 8.442, p = .03). Qualitative data indicated that establishing local school wellness committees was an area of growth needed for all schools. Areas of need in HR schools included enhancing school wellness policy communication, leadership, and staff wellness initiatives. Areas of need in LR schools focused on providing more physical activity and wellness opportunities for students. Conclusion: Readiness for change is a promising metric that could associate with more physical activity opportunities, better wellness team function, and perhaps, wellness policy implementation.

Keywords: ADOLESCENT HEALTH; COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH; HEALTH POLICY; PROGRAM PLANNING; SCHOOL HEALTH PROGRAMS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Illinois State University, Normal, IL, United States 2: A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ, United States 3: University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO, United States

Publication date: July 1, 2022

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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