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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Nancy Fahrenwald


childhood obesity, intervention


Childhood obesity is increasing in prevalence and concern. Many behaviors contributing to obesity are learned in childhood. To reduce obesity and improve health, effective interventions are being sought. This pilot study tested a provider-led intervention for Head Start Parents. The study was guided by the Social Cognitive Theory Model. Specific aims were (a) to compare the experimental intervention to a control group in producing changes on the primary outcomes (knowledge, attitude, and behavior specific to physical activity and healthy eating); and (b) to examine the feasibility of, and participant satisfaction with, “Make a Move,” a family-based childhood obesity intervention. Participants (n = 27) were randomized and placed in the intervention group or the control group. Pre- and post-test measures for both groups were examined at baseline and post-intervention (Parent Curriculum Questionnaire), and the intervention group was evaluated using the post-test measure Make a Move Satisfaction Survey. The Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used. There was a statistically significant difference in scores for knowledge of healthy eating (z = 1.99, p = 0.05), attitude of physical activity (z = 2.71, p < 0.01), and behavior of physical activity (z = 2.03, p = 0.04). Results indicated that there was not a statistically significant difference in scores for knowledge of physical activity (z = 0.44, p = 0.66), attitude of healthy eating (z = 1.14, p = 0.25), or behavior of healthy eating (z = 1.37, p = 0.17). N = 10 participants (77%) completed all four ix intervention sessions. N = 13 participants (100%) reported that they were mostly or very satisfied with the “Make a Move” intervention. This pilot study provided new insights into the relationship of a provider-led intervention with respect to knowledge, attitude, and behavior in healthy eating and physical activity. This new knowledge will help guide realistic approaches to interventions that prevent childhood obesity.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Obesity in children--Prevention
Preschool children--Nutrition
Exercise for children


Includes bibliographical references (pages 102-114)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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