Date of Conferral

2018

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Edward Kim

Abstract

Many children in U.S. Kâ??12 schools struggle with childhood obesity. A healthy lifestyle taught in a child's early years is essential for student learning, and it can set the pace for healthy choices to be made in adulthood. The purpose of this exploratory case study was to explore the experiences of parents in Montgomery County, Ohio, who successfully improved their children's health and academic grades. The transtheoretical model of behavior change grounded this study to evaluate the willingness of children and adults to take action on new health and wellness behaviors that can lead them through the stages of change to action and maintenance. The study was guided by 1 overarching research question: What are the experiences of the parents who guided their children through lifestyle changes using local community health and wellness resources, and reported improved health and improved academics? Specifically, the research subquestions asked about the successes, challenges, and strategies applied. This case study targeted 6 parents who guided their 6th grade children for at least 6 months on changing their health and wellness habits. Qualitative data were gathered and coded from structured interviews listing noteworthy statements and identifying patterns. The data were analyzed using data reduction, data display, and conclusion drawing. According to the study's findings, children who ate healthy, got proper rest each night, and engaged in daily physical activity lost weight, felt better, and performed better in school. This study contributes to positive social change by providing parents with strategies to improve health and wellness and academics in their overweight children.

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