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Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Terrence A. Tollefson

Committee Members

Gunapala Edirisooriya, Marjorie King, Ronald A. Lindahl


The purpose of this study was to explore relationships between selected variables of fifth- and eighth-grade students in two school districts regarding advice for health behavior and actual health behavior. The total number of fifth-grade students who participated in the study was 120, and the total number of eighth-grade students who participated in the study was 152. Data were collected through quantitative methods, using two instruments, The Health Self-Determinism Index for Children and How Often Do You?

The analysis revealed no differences between male and female students in their advice for health behavior. No difference was found between fifth-grade and eighth-grade students regarding their advice for health behavior. Also, no difference was noted between genders and grade levels and their advice for health behavior. A difference was noted between boys and girls and between fifth- and eighth-grade students regarding advice for health behaviors. A weak, but significantly negative, relationship between advice for health behavior and actual health behavior in male and female fifth- and eighth-grade students was noted in the study. Girls indicated significantly better actual health behaviors than boys. Eighth-graders indicated significantly better health behaviors than fifth-graders.

Based on the findings of the study, recommendations for additional research related to children and their health behaviors were suggested. Studies with children could be conducted with individuals of various cultural orientations, comparisons of children and their parents, and children at different stages of their development as related to health behavior. Improvement of professional practice may involve action research as new information and techniques are incorporated into actual practice. Coordinated efforts of health care providers and educators could be effective in assessing and monitoring health behaviors in children.

Document Type

Dissertation - restricted


Copyright by the authors.