Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Dr. Jianping Shen
Dr. Suzan Ayers
Dr. Jessaca Spybrook
Academic achievement and physical health, academic achievement and nutrition, academic achievement and health promotion, academic achievement and physical education, academic achievement and body image, academic achievement and physical activity
This study investigated possible relationships between specific wellness-related behaviors and academic achievement by using self-reported data from the 2009 Michigan Youth Risk Behavior Survey (MYRBS). Participants were students from 50 public high schools in Michigan in grades 9 through 12 (N = 3,411). Survey responses were analyzed with an ordinal logistic regression procedure using SPSS software. Beyond the control model, the block of variables on (a) diet explained 9.3% of the variance in the outcome measure, an additional amount of variance that was statistically significant and practically important. Each of the remaining blocks, including (b) physical activity, (c) self-perception of weight and activities related to self-perception of weight, and (d) body mass index, explained about 2% of additional variance beyond the control model, an additional amount that was statistically significant, but practically very small.
Decreases in the levels of fruit consumption increased the odds of lower grades by a range of 8 to 51.3%. Decreases in the levels of vegetables other than salad, potatoes, and carrots increased the odds of lower grades by a range of 12.4 to 98%. Increases in the levels of soda consumed increased the odds of lower grades by a range of 20 to 193%. Decreases in the levels of breakfast consumption increased the odds of lower grades by a range of 15 to 170%. Decreases in the frequency of intense physical activity increased the odds of lower grades by a range of 11 to 113%. Increasing TV watching on school days increased the odds of lower grades by a range of 8.4 to 63%. Students’ self-perception of weight was not predictive of grades, but some actions related to self-perceptions of weight status, including taking pills to lose weight and 24-hour fasts, were statistically significant predictors of grade reductions.
Implications of the findings were discussed. Further research is needed to more precisely distill which mechanisms related to each wellness behavior are more specifically associated with academic achievement.
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Alfano, Helene M., "Relationships between Wellness-Related Behaviors and Academic Performance" (2014). Dissertations. 365.