Coordinated School Health Programs and Academic Achievement: A Systematic Review of the Literature

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Journal of School Health (Impact Factor: 1.43). 12/2007; 77(9):589-600. DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2007.00238.x
Source: PubMed


Few evaluations of school health programs measure academic outcomes. K-12 education needs evidence for academic achievement to implement school programs. This article presents a systematic review of the literature to examine evidence that school health programs aligned with the Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) model improve academic success.
A multidisciplinary panel of health researchers searched the literature related to academic achievement and elements of the CSHP model (health services, counseling/social services, nutrition services, health promotion for staff, parent/family/community involvement, healthy school environment, physical education, and health education) to identify scientifically rigorous studies of interventions. Study designs were classified according to the analytic framework provided in the Guide developed by the Community Preventive Services Task Force.
The strongest evidence from scientifically rigorous evaluations exists for a positive effect on some academic outcomes from school health programs for asthmatic children that incorporate health education and parental involvement. Strong evidence also exists for a lack of negative effects of physical education programs on academic outcomes. Limited evidence from scientifically rigorous evaluations support the effect of nutrition services, health services, and mental health programs, but no such evidence is found in the literature to support the effect of staff health promotion programs or school environment interventions on academic outcomes.
Scientifically rigorous evaluation of school health programs is challenging to conduct due to issues related to sample size, recruitment, random assignment to condition, implementation fidelity, costs, and adequate follow-up time. However, school health programs hold promise for improving academic outcomes for children.

Download full-text


Available from: Sally Davis
  • Source
    • "This can lead to a difficult tension for teachers who have many learning obligations to prioritise within their educational role. Yet the need to adopt an enhanced role of addressing psychosocial and pastoral care needs for the more vulnerable children at the school might not only be important for the overall development of the children, be that their cognitive, physical, social, emotional, moral and behavioural development, but might also enhance educational experiences and attainments for these children (Atkins et al., 2006; Bhana, 2015; de Wal Pastoor, 2015; Fazel et al., 2014; Murray et al., 2007; Zins et al., 2007). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper describes the role of schools in supporting the overall development of refugee children and the importance of peer interactions. It argues that the UK school into which a refugee child arrives can be considered an extreme setting. Refugee and asylum-seeking adolescents were interviewed following their contact with a school-based mental health service. The social recognition granted to them by peers in ‘moments of change’ gave them the motivation to change, the confidence to seek psychological help, to study harder and make more friends. It concludes that schools in extreme settings are often the best placed institution to address the psychosocial needs of children and should therefore adopt this enhanced role.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · International Journal of Educational Development
    • "Previous studies from health promoting schools have for example identifi ed reduced vandalism at school and more engaged student councils as valuable outcomes at the school level, whereas staff's perception of enhanced concentration and reduced discipline problems among students have been identifi ed as valuable outcomes at the teacher level (Samdal and Rowling 2013 ; Viig 2010 ; Tjomsland 2009 ). Adding to this, measures of school connectedness , school satisfaction and truancy at the student level also constitute signifi cant indicators of success provided that a growing number of studies indicate that a personalized and caring learning climate in school is one potential contributor to students' academic achievements (Hattie 2009 ; Murray et al. 2007 ). Finnish health promoting school research has further shown that participatory action research may be particularly useful for health promoting school research (Turunen et al. 2004 ). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Research indicates that the main reason why teachers change their practice is the recognition of improvements in students’ educational outcomes (Guskey TR, Teach Teach 8(3):381—391, 2002). To ensure widespread dissemination of health promoting schools, evidence that the health promoting school approach can be a crucial vehicle for enhancing both students’ health- and educational outcomes are therefore warranted. This advocates study designs and methods that take into account the multifaceted, whole-school and context specifi c characteristics of health promoting schools. In this chapter, we therefore fi rst discuss specifi c challenges in health promoting school research, and secondly, we propose an evaluation design combining the advantages of different research methodologies to examine the health promoting school’s effectiveness in creating “better schools through health”.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015
  • Source
    • "While schools appear to represent an ideal site for increasing youth physical activity (Colley et al. 2011; Pate et al. 2006; Tomporowski et al. 2011), the perception that physical activity threatens academic achievement (Coe et al. 2006; Sallis et al. 1999) and the perceived lack of time available for physical activity (Tsai et al. 2009) have contributed to a lack of physical activity programming in schools. Contrary to these perceptions , time spent participating in physical activity in place of regular instruction time does not impair academic performance (Rasberry et al. 2011) and in fact may improve it (Ahamed et al. 2007; Carlson et al. 2008; Murray et al. 2007; Rasberry et al. 2011; Sallis et al. 1999; Trudeau and Shephard 2008, 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The amount of time allocated to physical activity in schools is declining. Time-efficient physical activity solutions that demonstrate their impact on academic achievement-related outcomes are needed to prioritize physical activity within the school curricula. "FUNtervals" are 4-min, high-intensity interval activities that use whole-body actions to complement a storyline. The purpose of this study was to (i) explore whether FUNtervals can improve selective attention, an executive function posited to be essential for learning and academic success; and (ii) examine whether this relationship is predicted by students' classroom off-task behaviour. Seven grade 3-5 classes (n = 88) were exposed to a single-group, repeated cross-over design where each student's selective attention was compared between no-activity and FUNtervals days. In week 1, students were familiarized with the d2 test of attention and FUNterval activities, and baseline off-task behaviour was observed. In both weeks 2 and 3 students completed the d2 test of attention following either a FUNterval break or a no-activity break. The order of these breaks was randomized and counterbalanced between weeks. Neither motor nor passive off-task behaviour predicted changes in selective attention following FUNtervals; however, a weak relationship was observed for verbal off-task behaviour and improvements in d2 test performance. More importantly, students made fewer errors during the d2 test following FUNtervals. In supporting the priority of physical activity inclusion within schools, FUNtervals, a time efficient and easily implemented physical activity break, can improve selective attention in 9- to 11-year olds.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism
Show more