Title page for ETD etd-03302004-105649

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Holston, Denise Marie
URN etd-03302004-105649
Title Assessing Perception of Family Nutrition Program Characteristics and Nutrition Education Needs of Low Socioeconomic Status Individuals
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Carol O'Neil Committee Chair
Annrose Guarino Committee Member
Michael Keenan Committee Member
Pamela Monroe Committee Member
  • family nutrition program
  • focus group discussions
  • nutrition education
Date of Defense 2004-03-08
Availability unrestricted
The Louisiana Family Nutrition Program (FNP) reaches up to 120,000 food-stamp recipients and other low SES individuals per year through direct and indirect nutrition education methods. To be effective in eliciting behavior change, a nutrition education program must be developed to be consistent with the needs, motivations, and concerns of the target audience; therefore, it is important that the needs, motivations, and concerns are being met by FNP. The purpose of this study was to determine, through the use of focus group discussions (FGD), whether nutrition education needs of FNP participants are being satisfied by the program. Nutrition education needs cover a broad scope of concerns, including: knowledge of the program, time and place of nutrition education sessions, nutrition education materials, and delivery methods. Five FGD were conducted with 34 FNP participants in five FNP parishes. The PRECEDE/PROCEED theoretical model was used to classify information from FGD into predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors. Results suggested that participants learned of FNP through the nutrition educator or community agencies such as Head Start and Office of Family Support. Although all participants were knowledgeable about the program itself, some indicated that lack of knowledge about meeting times and locations of nutrition education sessions was a barrier to participation. Other barriers to participation in FNP were minimal, but did include lack of transportation, lack of childcare, lack of interest, and time nutrition sessions were held. Participantsí families and personal barriers to dietary change influenced use of information in FNP. Program characteristics including, program availability, nutrition information, and delivery methods were enablers to FNP participation. Preferred delivery methods of nutrition education included a variety of methods. Information obtained from this study is used to provide recommendations for FNP.
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