Author(s)

Angelina Pecoraro

Date Approved

6-14-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Ieva, Kara

Subject(s)

Obesity;Teacher-student relationships

Disciplines

Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration

Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to investigate teacher attitudes towards obese students. The investigation focused on the correlation between (a) attitudes and beliefs about obese students; and (b) predictive abilities of participant's self-esteem with attitudes and beliefs. The three surveys utilized in this study were: (a) Attitudes Toward Obese Persons Scale (Allison, Basile, & Yuker, 1991) (b) Beliefs About Obese Persons (Allison et al., 1991); and (c) Rosenberg Self-Esteem Survey (Rosenberg, 1965). The sample size was 893 certified educators representing all grade levels in Central, Northern, and Southern New Jersey school districts. Respondents were emailed a survey link, which included all three surveys and a demographics questionnaire. Analysis procedures used with the collected data were Pearson Product-Moment (two-tailed) and Simple Linear Regression Analysis. Data indicated a statistically significant relationship between attitudes toward obese students and beliefs about the controllability of obesity. Also, data showed self-esteem is a predictor of educator's attitudes towards obese students; however, it is not a predictor of beliefs about obesity. Implications were suggested for policy makers, school districts, and for future research.

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