Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Committee Chair

Melissa Olfert

Committee Co-Chair

Joe Moritz

Committee Member

Amy Root


Introduction: Creating effective dissemination and implementation tools within community based, obesity prevention research is needed to bridge the current science to practice gap. Ripple Effect Mapping (REM) using Community Capitals Framework (CCF) is a community impact evaluation tool that is hypothesized to positively capture activity during dissemination within community programs. Although REM is a proposed impact evaluation method, it has not been widely adopted within the research sector. In order to facilitate the translation of research into evidenced based practice, a stepwise process must be described and tested to determine efficacy and effectiveness, followed by a method to translate findings into useable and understandable information for the immediate users, the community, and larger public.;Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine REM as an effective impact evaluation tool in determining participants' (youth/adult dyads) perceptions of the ripple effect of a 24 month, iCook 4-H multistate intervention program on self, family and community for future dissemination.;Methods: Seventy dyad (A=adult, Y=youth) participants (35=A, 35=Y ages 9-10 years) participated across 5 states (10 groups; ME, NE, SD, TN, WV). Three core themes of iCook 4-H were assessed: cooking, eating and playing together. Group dyads responded to open ended questions by leader driven dialogue about ways in which the iCook program has affected the individual, family and community. Three main questions were asked: 1) what are people doing differently as a result of the iCook program; 2) who has benefited from the iCook program and how; 3) are there changes in the way community groups and institutions do things as a result of the iCook program? Questions and dialogue were recorded by trained note-takers using a template with set instructions. Directed data content analysis was used to determine individual, family and community impact.;Results: Participants reported adopting new behaviors such as an increase in physical activity, frequency of trying new foods were increased and improved communication skills as well as increased harmony within family units. Directed content analysis resulted in one theme, seven categories with eight subcategories, and 41 supporting subcategories. Participants reported positive family behavior change affecting all capitals within the CCF leading to an amplified awareness of the importance of togetherness.;Conclusions: Findings indicate that the REM evaluation tool was an effective approach in determining participant perceptions for future dissemination and implementation. Additionally, findings show youth obesity prevention programs such as the iCook 4-H program have the potential to positively affect self, families and communities. Applying a tool such as REM can be used by researchers, community members and participants as an effective evaluation tool to demonstrate through a visual mapping image, the positive effects of obesity prevention programs to further the dissemination and implementation mileage, replicability and sustainably.