Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type

DNP Project



Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. Molly Kuhle

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dr. Donna Atobajeun

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dr. Lynx McCellan


Adolescents in the United States today have record-high prevalence rates for childhood obesity and overweight, which are conditions that have lifelong negative health consequences for individuals, and also carry high financial and social costs for the entire nation. The disproportionate burden of obesity and associated health conditions falls on adolescents of racial and ethnic minority group identities and from lower-income households. The increased risk that adolescents have for developing conditions like childhood obesity is closely associated with youth having diets that are unhealthier than in the past. Parents have a large influence on the eating habits and preferences of their adolescent children, however, and parents who promote healthy eating in their households have been found to successfully promote healthier dietary habits among their children as well as improvements in their children's health status. However, only a limited number of studies have addressed delivering dietary education to the parents of adolescents from lower-income households who are predominantly African American; factors like ethnicity, income, and geography have usually only factored into dietary interventions intended for adults alone. In order to address the research problem framed above, this Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was developed with the purpose of implementing an evidencebased nutritional and dietary education program, using a virtual format, for the parents of adolescents in order to promote improvements in family dietary and health behaviors. Accomplishing this purpose would allow the DNP project to facilitate obesity prevention efforts while also examining the effectiveness of the virtual format for dietary education interventions targeting the parents of adolescents. The population, intervention, comparison, outcome, time question that framed the project was: Among the adult parents of adolescents living with their children in a lower-income, urban area (P), does participation in a virtual education program on v healthy dietary habits (I) affect pre- to postintervention changes (C) in nutritional knowledge and family eating behaviors (O) over the four-week intervention period (T)? The dependent variables of family eating behaviors and family health behaviors were measured using the Family Nutrition and Physical Activity self-report survey questionnaire, which was administered online at pre- and postintervention time points. Participants were recruited as a convenience sample in a single urban neighborhood, and each participant took part in a single session of the virtual education program. In total, 80 parents of adolescents took part in the intervention. Two-tailed, paired-samples t tests were used to compare the sample’s mean scores on the relevant subscale of the Family Nutrition and Physical Activity survey, used to measure family eating behaviors, and to compare the sample’s mean total scores on the Family Nutrition and Physical Activity survey, used to measure family health behaviors, with a cutoff p-value of p < .05 to determine significance. The sample’s mean scores related to the family eating behaviors and family health behaviors showed significant increases at postintervention compared to pre-intervention. Therefore, the virtual education program was determined to facilitate improvements in the reported family eating and health behaviors among the parents of adolescents who took part in it. These findings have key implications for nurse leaders working to prevent childhood obesity in at-risk communities, and for future research on the use of virtual interventions to promote positive changes in family dietary behaviors.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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