Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
An urban southern school district located in the United States identified adolescent obesity as a problem. District records showed that 37% of adolescent girls and 29% of adolescent boys were obese which exposed them to short-term and long-term health consequences. The purpose of this archival multivariate survey study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the problem by exploring the problem nutritional and physical activity habits of eighth and eleventh grade adolescent girls (n=3320) of various races/ethnicities and obesity levels to determine how their nutritional and physical activity habits differ. The research questions asked whether there were significant differences between the independent variables (grade level, self-reported obesity level, and race/ethnicity of adolescent girls) and the dependent variables (adolescent girls' nutrition habits and physical activity). The theoretical framework that grounded the study was the ecological system theory which identifies the child, parent, and community centered factors that predict the weight status of children. My findings revealed a statistically significant interaction effect of the combined grade and obesity levels and the combined grade and ethnicity categories on the combined nutrition habits and physical activity habits. I recommended increased collaboration between middle school and high school PE teachers and increased support from administrators and parents to elevate nutritional education and PA for adolescent girls. My study may contribute to positive social change by providing PE educators with new information and understanding that they can use to develop and justify educational programs that equip adolescent girls with the knowledge to make healthier food choices and increase their physical activity levels.