Date of Award
Nutrition and Hospitality Management
BACKGROUND: Overweight and obesity trends have been increasing drastically for the past twenty years. School wellness policies have been put into place to help decrease overweight and obesity prevalence. Analyzing a school’s organizational readiness to change for full implementation of wellness policies could identify areas that are contributing or hindering successful implementation of federal regulation of policies and policy outcomes. METHODS: This pilot study included 21 participants, all of whom served as a school wellness coordinator, either at the district or school level in Mississippi. Each participant completed a six-part questionnaire addressing school wellness policy implementation. Survey item development was guided by the Organizational Readiness to Change (ORC) theory. RESULTS: Results of this research found that school wellness coordinators still lack full awareness of job responsibilities for overseeing a school wellness program. Results also showed that there is administrative encouragement for the success of wellness programs, but inadequate funding and physical resources/facilities are hindering progress. CONCLUSIONS: This research analyzed school wellness policy implementation as measured by the ORC constructs. Conclusions supported the presence of school administrative leadership, uncertainty of positive outcomes from wellness programs, inadequate funding and resources for wellness programs, and unclear school wellness coordinator job design. This research points to future studies that need to explore the specific job design of school wellness coordinators and how to support future wellness program policies both within schools and the community.
Quirk, Elizabeth B., "Evaluation of School Wellness Policies Implementation as Measured by the Organizational Readiness to Change Theory" (2019). Honors Theses. 1219.