Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


McGrath, R. Vincent

Committee Member

Olinzock, Anthony

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Elementary, Middle, and Secondary School Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


This study addressed obesity of youth in a predominantly African-American school and was concerned with the implementation of a CVD intervention program, Project Health Curriculum, for high school students, focusing on early health promotion and support to children at risk of developing adult diseases. A health promotion program was implemented at a high school in Canton, Mississippi, to equip students with information to help reduce risk behaviors that could lead to health problems. This intervention was conducted in the health and physical education classes. Students were given the opportunity to report their knowledge and behaviors by participating in a pretest. A posttest was completed after the health promotion intervention. A Wilcoxon Signed Ranked test was computed to analyze the differences between the pretest and posttest scores of the students on the Project Health Student Survey (PHSS) to determine if the intervention program impacted their attitudes, practices, and knowledge regarding their risk behaviors and practices. The posttest served as the student outcome measure and indicator of the effectiveness and perceived usefulness in modifying student risk behaviors when compared to the pretest scores. Changes in student behaviors were found in several of the categories examined. The results of the study indicated that a carefully designed prevention/intervention program within the school curriculum can positively impact student behavioral practices to improve students’ quality of life. As the State of Mississippi deals with the epidemic of obesity and the prevalence of CVD, preventing these diseases from increasing is a priority. Strategies and programs for weight maintenance, weight reduction, and health promotion must become a public health and education priority, especially among the youth.