Dr. Bevans is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, part-time faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and a school psychologist. Her application is supported by her mentors, Drs. Christopher Forrest and Anne Riley and by expert advisors who specialize in physical education, health education, nutrition, measurement, and statistics. Bevans' long-term career goal is to become an expert on school health programs (SHPs) that reduce risk behaviors and increase health-promoting behaviors. She has three specific career goals: to develop (1) skills needed to effectively measure the quality of SHPs using multiple methods; (2) skills in advanced biostatistical methods (e.g., multivariate analyses, structural equation modeling, and multilevel modeling); and (3) conceptual knowledge of best practices in SHP delivery.
These aims with be achieved through coursework, workshop/conference participation, directed reading, mentorship, advising, and research experiences. Dr. Bevan's proposed research will test the hypothesis that the quality of three SHP components (physical education, health education, nutrition services) is positively associated with students' self-assessed health and school performance. There are three specific aims: (1) to validate and refine measures of SHP quality; (2) to investigate the extent to which resources that support SHPs are linked to the quality of SHP delivery; and (3) to test the hypothesis that SHP quality is linked to students' self- assessed health and school performance. This proposal takes advantage of an ongoing research study which provides access to 34 schools and the child- and parent-reports of the health and functioning of over 2,800 students in grades 4 through 8. Relevance: Increasingly, schools are recognized as logical settings for the delivery of health promotion and risk prevention services to large segments of the population. There are limited resources to support SHPs, so it is essential to identify those programs that have the greatest impact on child functioning. This career award would support Dr. Bevans' development as a researcher committed to this cause. Results from her proposed studies will guide the development and evaluation of interventions to improve policy, procedures, and the direct delivery of SHPs, and ultimately children's health and school performance. ? ? ?