Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

David M. Callejo-Perez.


Objectives: The impact of unhealthy choices on Americans is no longer an "adult's only" issue. Health disparities previously affecting adults are appearing at ever-increasing rates in children. A strategy to address this examines the likelihood that elementary teachers act as healthy role models while providing quality health instruction. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the effect of the preservice elementary teacher training experience on the potential delivery of elementary classroom health instruction by clarifying the impact of programmatic training influences on the attitudes and behavioral intent of preservice elementary educators to teach health.;Methods: A sample of 157 candidates were selected for this study consisting of preservice (in their final semester) and novice elementary educators (within 3 years from graduation) from an accredited teacher training program in WV. Participants responded to an anonymous, electronic survey containing demographic and attitudinal questions focused on health education experiences during and after their undergraduate, teacher training experience. Frequencies and analyses of variance were used to examine responses and compare survey items.;Results: 93 participants responded to the 38-item questionnaire. 23 items assessed the three levels of behavioral intent: attitude (A), subjective norms (SN), and perceived behavioral control (PBC). Findings indicated that attitude was most affected by health education teacher training (p≤ .003), whether or not respondents recalled specific training (three or more curricular components (p≤ .042), one or two (p≤ .0074), or none at all (p≤ .004)). Correlations were found between measures of personal health and Attitude (health status: p≤ .034; exercise frequency: p≤ .044) and Subjective Norms (health status: p≤ .025; exercise frequency: p≤ -.005). As recall of training on specific curricular components increased, the discipline of Health increased in importance when compared to math, science, technology and reading/language arts (no recall = 4.17, recall of one or two =3.85, recall of three or more = 3.48).;Conclusions: Required training profoundly affected attitudes toward health education. There was a significant relationship between attitude and measures of personal health. Powerful others (SN) played an impressive role in influencing perceptions of value regarding the discipline of Health Education. No particular group of course components influenced behavioral intent and attitude as much as the completion of a training program requirement on specific/organized curricula in health education. Training improved Health Education's academic ranking.