Date of Conferral





Public Health


Michael Dunn


Childhood obesity rates have increased nationwide, but rates of childhood obesity are higher in Tennessee (TN). The Coordinated School Health (CSH) Program is a multicomponent approach designed to improve academics and health in children in Tennessee; however, researchers have not evaluated the 8 components of the plan and the impact it has on weight in children. The purpose of the study was to determine if a relationship existed between the Coordinated School Health Program and obesity in children. The conceptual framework for this study was Bandura's social cognitive theory. One hundred forty CSH coordinators in TN were surveyed and the results were analyzed using multiple regression to determine the relationship between the 8 components of the CSH program and obesity rates in children in TN. Nutrition service was the only component that was statistically significant. According to study results, many districts had been exposed to the coordinated school health program and had some components in place, but the program was not seen as a priority by school administration, which affected the successful implementation of the program. The findings from this research can be used to help school officials determine how to better integrate the components of the Coordinated School Health program into the existing curriculum, allot time and resources for implementation strategies, hire the appropriate staff, and/or determine which component needs more focus. Determining which component(s) should have more emphasis creates potential for social change by reducing obesity in children, which will likely reduce the chance of those children becoming obese adults.