Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Nutrition and Health Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professor Michelle Krehbiel. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Ashlie J. Smith


Peer teaching is a promising model of health education. Limited research exists on the topic of the effectiveness of peer health teaching, and even less research exists on the effects on the actual peer teachers, notably their motivations for becoming peer teachers as well as behavioral modifications and improved self-efficacy made as a result. This study examined the motivations and the health behavior modifications made by 4-H Eat 4-Health teen teachers ages 14 to 17 after delivering a peer health education program. This study investigated teen teachers’ nutrition and physical activity behavior changes as well as their leadership and confidence skills acquired as a result of teaching a health education program. Demographic information and nutrition and physical activity behaviors were measured using a retrospective 4-H Common Measures survey questionnaire. In-depth phone interviews examined the teen teachers’ reasons for participating in the 4-H Eat 4-Health program and the skills they gained from teaching. The findings from this study showed that the study participants experienced the most significant changes in their leadership skills, eating patterns, confidence levels, role modeling capabilities, and need for self-improvement.

Advisor: Michelle Krehbiel