Parent Involvement with Children's Health Promotion: A One-Year Follow-up of the Minnesota Home Team

Cheryl L. Perry, Russell V Luepker, David M. Murray, Marsha D. Hearn, Andrew Halper, Bonnie Dudovitz, Marla C. Maile, Mary Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


This study compares the long-term outcomes of a school-based program to an equivalent home-based program with 2250 third-grade students in 31 urban schools in Minnesota and North Dakota in order to detect changes in dietary fat and sodium consumption. The school-based program, The Adventures of Hearty Heart and Friends, involved 15 sessions over five weeks in the third-grade classrooms. The home-based program, the Hearty Heart Home Team, involved a five-week correspondence course with the third graders, where parental involvement was necessary in order to complete the activities. Outcome measures included anthropometric, psychosocial, and behavioral assessments at school, and dietary recall, food shelf inventories, and urinary sodium data collected in the students’ homes. Participation rates for all aspects of the study were notably high. Eighty-six percent of the parents participated in the Home Team and 71 % (almost 1000 families) completed the five-week course. Students in the home-based program reported more behavior change at posttest, had reduced the total fat, saturated fat, and monounsaturated fat in their diets and increased their complex carbohydrate consumption. The changes derived from the dietary recall data did not maintain after one year. The data converge to suggest the feasibility and importance of parental involvement for initiating health behavior changes with children of this age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Education & Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1989


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