Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Dr. Mary L. Dawson

Second Advisor

Dr. Marianne Frauenknecht

Third Advisor

Dr. Roger Zabik

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Planning for cardiovascular health (CVH) education for adolescents

requires an awareness of students' cardiovascular knowledge and attitudes

toward "heart healthy" behavior, and an understanding of the dynamics

of health-related decision-making in this age group. This study attempted

to measure these parameters using an 81-item survey administered to 93

9th graders (45 females, 46 males, 2 undisclosed) and 107 12th graders (57

females, 47 males, 3 undisclosed). The survey was administered m a

suburban high school in southwest Michigan in the spring of 1994.

Results were evaluated descriptively for knowledge, attitudes, and

behavior, and for differences across grade and gender. ANOVA's were

applied to evaluate associations between knowledge, attitudes, and

behavior, and between decision-making directedness and attitudes and


Major findings of the study were (a) females had more positive

CVH attitudes than males, (b) positive family history did not affect

knowledge or attitudes, (c) positive CVH attitudes were positively

associated with self-directedness and frequency of aerobic exercise, and (d)

students reported parent-directedness higher than peer-directedness.