Abstracts Fall 2012

Effectiveness of the six-week Strong Women Stay Young program

Marnie Spencer, Laura Sant, Carol Hampton, Rhea Lanting, Audrey Liddil, Marsha Lockard, Joey Peutz, Grace Wittman, Sharlene Woffinden and Martha Raidl University of Idaho


Two hundred forty-four women, ages 29 to 89, participated twice a week in a Strong Women Stay Young Extension program for six weeks. Participants completed six strength-training exercises and received nutrition information at each class. Participants reported that they increased their arm and leg strength by 46 to 80 percent; increased their intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products; and improved their ability to complete daily activities. Full Text

Long-term evaluation of EFNEP and SNAP-Ed

Mary Kay Wardlaw, University of Wyoming; Susan Baker, Colorado State University


Nutrition education programs targeting low-income populations are provided across the United States with varying behavioral assessments. However, few programs have conducted research with graduates more than one year after their participation. A mixed-method research project using quantitative and qualitative techniques assessed the long-term impacts of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) in Wyoming. Adults who participated in the Wyoming program at least one and up to four years previous to the research, completed an eighteen-item behavior checklist. Each participant filled out the behavior checklist when they enrolled in classes, when they graduated, and at follow-up. These three checklists were matched for each respondent to observe changes in behavior over time. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to learn more about changes related to food and nutrition behaviors, as well as other life changes attributable to their involvement in the program. Full Text

Barriers to healthful eating among midlife women during eating occasions focused onnurturing family

Vani Chopra, University of Minnesota; Abby Gold, North Dakota State University and University of Minnesota; Marla Reicks, University of Minnesota


Women tend to gain weight at midlife based on less healthful eating habits, thereby increasing risk of chronic diseases. This study prioritized barriers to healthful eating among midlife women (40 to 60 years old; mean 48.8 ± 5.4 years) by degree of importance during eating occasions focused on nurturing family (that is, occasions characterized by a specific set of situation-based needs and having at least one other adult or child household member present). A convenience sample (n=37) of women in Minnesota and North Dakota met in seven group sessions (three to ten women per session) using a nominal group technique to identify and rank barriers. The majority of participants were white, 65 percent had a college degree, and 35 percent had some college education. Sixty percent were employed full time, while 16 percent were employed part-time, and 24 percent were not employed. Self-reported height/weight data indicated a mean BMI of 28.6 ± 6.0 kg/m2. Thematic analysis methods were used, and rankings were summed. The most important barriers to their eating healthfully were time and budgetary constraints, where perceived lack of time limited healthful meal planning and food preparation, and healthier food options were perceived to be more expensive. Activities and work and family schedules played a role by influencing time available for meal planning and food preparation. The need to consider family members’ food preferences was also ranked highly as a barrier to their own healthful eating, but was secondary to time and budgetary constraints. Several additional barriers were reported as being less important. Information from this study can be used to tailor nutrition education for midlife women providing family meals to improve the frequency of healthful meals for themselves and to manage their weight. Full Text

An Examination of Demographic Differences in Decision-Making Among Adolescents Participating in a Community-Based Service-Learning Project

Janet Fox, Melissa Cater, Joni Nunnery Shreve, and Kimberly Y. Jones,  Louisiana State University


Researchers have embraced service-learning as a key strategy for responsible decision-making that is imperative for adolescent cognitive development. This study examines the demographic differences in decision-making among early and middle adolescents who have participated in a community-based service-learning project.  Overall, the respondents indicated that they gained decision-making skills as a result of service-learning.  All demographic categories (gender, age, race, and residence) had highest agreement with the decision-making item “look at different ways to solve problems.”  In contrast, with the exception of rural youth, all demographic categories had lowest agreement on “list my options before making a decision.”  Females scored higher than males on all decision-making measures.  Among all items, there were more differences between early and middle adolescents than any other demographic variable.  High quality service-learning experiences provide a concrete platform for a multitude of real world decision-making opportunities. Full Text

Couple and relationship education: Does curriculum matter for men?

Kim Gregson, Francesca Adler-Baeder, Rachel Parham, Scott Ketring and Tommy Smith, Auburn University


Differences in change patterns based on three specific couple and relationship education (CRE) curricula (Mastering the Mysteries of Love [MML], Together We Can [TWC], and Black Marriage Education [BME]) are examined among male participants. Each curriculum addresses distinct populations and needs, while also including core research-based relationship topics/skills. The sample consisted of 554 male participants, diverse in ethnicity, who completed both pre- and post-program questionnaires. As a whole, men who participated in CRE demonstrated increases in targeted relational, individual, and parenting outcomes. Nevertheless, male participants in specific curricula showed differential change patterns. Those who received TWC improved in individual and parenting outcomes, participants in MML improved in individual and relational areas, while men who received BME demonstrated gains in all three targeted areas (relational, individual, and parenting). The authors present implications for Extension educators and other family life educators related to choices of curricula, depending on anticipated populations and outcome areas of interest. Full Text

Babycenter.com: New parent behavior in an online community

Juyoung Jang and Jodi Dworkin, University of Minnesota


Technology is playing an increasingly bigger role in parent education. Unfortunately we know little about how parents use online resources. To gain a better understanding of the ways in which new parents use an online community in their parenting, we conducted a content analysis of one popular parenting Web site www.babycenter.com that allows parents to join a cohort of parents with children of the same age. Analyses revealed that parents participated in both individual activities, such as journal writing, and group activities, such as posting and responding to questions on a discussion board. Parents were primarily seeking information about normative development. However, the majority of parents’ activities involved connecting with others. Analyses also revealed that a small number of parents accounted for the majority of the online activity.  Full Text


Free-range kids: How to raise safe, self-reliant children (without going nuts with worry) by Lenore Skenazy

Reviewed by Kimberly Allen Full Text




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