Understanding Perceptions of School Administrators Related to School Breakfast in a Low School Breakfast Participation State

Natoshia M. Askelson, Elizabeth H. Golembiewski, Ann Bobst, Patti J. Delger, Carrie A. Scheidel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The National School Breakfast Program (SBP) is a federally funded program that allows states to offer nutritious breakfast to K-12 students. However, rates of SBP participation are low in some rural states, and the reasons are not well understood. The purpose of the study was to explore administrators' perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs related to the SBP, and factors they identify as barriers or facilitators to increased participation. METHODS: Data were collected from a cross-sectional, online survey of K-12 school administrators (N = 152) in a rural, midsized Midwestern state fielded over an academic year. Descriptive statistics were calculated and open-ended questions were coded and analyzed for relevant themes. RESULTS: Administrators identified busing schedules, time constraints, and a lack of flexibility within the school schedule to accommodate breakfast as primary structural barriers to SBP participation. Administrators described family-centered norms as reasons for low participation in rural areas. Administrators are at varying stages of readiness to work on improving participation. CONCLUSIONS: Low SBP participation can be explained in part by a convergence of factors related to access, community norms, and structural barriers. Results may be used to inform ways in which administrators at the state, district, and school level can work to increase participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-434
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume87
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Keywords

  • rural schools
  • school administrators
  • school breakfast

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