Date of Conferral

1-1-2008

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Maryanne H. Longo

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of current education materials on changing maternal smoking attitudes. Children are affected by prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke. Although there are educational efforts to discourage pregnant women from smoking, the practice continues in a significant number of pregnancies. New materials, based on current research, were also evaluated for effectiveness. The theoretical framework for this study was adult learning theory presented by Knowles which makes the assumption that an individual is shaped by environmental systems, that adult learning is affected by previous knowledge they bring to the learning and that adults must have a motive for change. The study sought to determine if mothers are presented with the latest research-based information about the effects of smoking upon their unborn child what extent will it change the attitude of smoking while pregnant. The research design was a quantitative, one-group pretest-posttest design. The target individuals, mothers of young children in a large preschool program, were surveyed with direct questions that yielded measurable data. The surveys were validated by three early childhood experts. The data obtained through the participant surveys were analyzed using a paired an analysis of variance, comparing pretest-posttest responses and demographic variables. The results of the study showed the affect education had on changing the attitudes and that demographic characteristics did not influence that change. Through educating mothers on the long-term negative outcomes of smoking during pregnancy, this study's impact has changed attitudes and understanding and thereby changes their behavior. The result of this research provided educational information that may change the attitude towards mothers smoking during pregnancy.