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Journal: The Journal of school nursing : the official publication of the National Association of School Nurses


Internet use is nearly ubiquitous among adolescents. Growing evidence suggests heavy Internet use negatively impacts health, yet the relationship between time spent on the Internet and adolescent blood pressure (BP) is unknown. We examined the association between Internet use and elevated BP in a racially diverse cross-sectional sample of 331 healthy adolescents (ages 14-17 years). Heavy Internet use was defined as ≥2 hr/day, moderate use as <2 hr/day and ≥5 days/week, and light use as <2 hr/day and ≤4 days/week. Elevated BP was defined as systolic or diastolic BP ≥90th percentile. Heavy Internet users had statistically significantly higher odds of elevated BP compared to light Internet users. School nurses can play an important role in preventing high BP through assessment of BP and other health behaviors including Internet use, and health teaching to individuals, student groups, faculty, and parents to increase awareness of the relationship between Internet use and health.

Concepts: Blood pressure


The school environment is an ideal setting for healthy weight programming with adolescents. The federal government has reinforced the importance of school-based health promotion. The current study examined the preliminary influence of the 2006 school wellness policy requirement of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act (CNWICRA) on adolescent Body Mass Index (BMI) and physical education participation. Nationally representative data from the 2003 and 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS) were used. The authors examined BMI percentile and physical education participation based on survey year and geographic region. Results suggest a slight decrease in BMI with no changes in physical education participation. A main effect for geographic region was found for both physical education participation and BMI percentile, while a geographic region-by-survey year interaction was discovered when analyzing BMI percentiles. Results suggest a need for continued investigation and may inform future healthy weight programming and geographically tailored wellness policies.

Concepts: Health, Nutrition, Geography, Mass, Body mass index, Federal government of the United States, Nursing, Regional geography


Bullying has negative consequences for health and quality of life of students. This study is part of a pilot project, “School Health,” which included a web-based questionnaire completed by students before a consultation with the school nurse. The aim of this study was to explore how students experience answering questions about bullying before an individual consultation and how they talk about bullying with the school nurse. This study had qualitative design with individual and focus group interviews and involved 38 students aged 13-14 years, both boys and girls, from three schools. Data were analyzed according to Kvale’s three levels of interpretation within a phenomenological and hermeneutic perspective. The students found it difficult to report being bullied. They expressed confidence in the school nurse and liked talking with her. Some complained about the school environment and reported that having a friend was important.


Mental health issues affect 20-25% of children and adolescents, of which few receive services. School-based health centers (SBHCs) provide access to mental health services to children and adolescents within their schools. A systematic review of literature was undertaken to review evidence on the effectiveness of delivery of mental health services in SBHCs. Databases were searched extensively for research studies published between January 1990 and March 2014. Data analysis was based on the method proposed by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Twenty-three studies were selected for review. Each study was explored for accessibility and content of mental health services in SBHCs. SBHCs provide access and eliminate barriers to mental health services. Students who exhibited high-risk behaviors were more likely to have sought services at the SBHC. However, there is a lack of high-quality research evaluating mental health services in the SBHCs and their effect on children and adolescents.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Medicine, Clinical trial, Effect, Effectiveness, Method acting, 1990


To assess the prevalence of weight misperception in American adolescents and its association with diet and physical activity behaviors, Youth Risk Behavior Survey data were utilized for this study. Based on reported and perceived weight, adolescents in the study were grouped into four categories (true negative [52.4%] = normal body mass index [BMI]/accurate weight perception; false negative [11.3%] = high BMI/weight misperception; false positive [11.6%] = normal BMI/weight misperception; and true positive [24.8%] = high BMI/accurate weight perception). Diet and physical activity of adolescents were compared in these categories. A total of 12,016 participants were included in our analysis (74.9% aged 15-17 years, 54.5% Whites, 52% females). Almost a third (31.8%) were overweight and obese, and more than a fifth (22.9%) misperceived their weight (11.6% overestimated and 11.3% underestimated their weight). In a gender-stratified analysis, the odds of avoiding a healthy diet and physical inactivity were higher among those with body weight misperception.


Childhood obesity prevalence rates in the United States are the highest in the rural Appalachian areas. Teens mentoring younger children to reverse obesity health risks are an understudied approach. This randomized-controlled trial compared the effects of two curriculum delivery methods and assessed the mediating effects of the number of sessions attended on the outcomes. The control group received the 8-week Just for Kids! curriculum via an adult teacher in a classroom and the experimental group received the same curriculum via individual teen mentoring. Data collected at baseline and postintervention were analyzed using multilevel linear models. Each of the outcomes (e.g., body mass index, blood pressure, current lifestyle behaviors) were modeled separately. Only the mentored children demonstrated improved current lifestyle behaviors (e.g., physical activity and dietary patterns) and health outcomes. Teen mentoring was an effective and efficacious approach to impact the lifestyle patterns and health outcomes of children in a school setting.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, United States, Effectiveness, Body mass index, Child, Childhood, Body shape


The National School Lunch Program provides nutritious and inexpensive lunches, but low participation and food waste are challenges in many schools. Interventions aim to improve participation in the program, but little is known about how students' perceptions affect their participation. This study explored how middle school students in a rural state perceive school food service staff, food served, and lunchroom atmosphere. An online survey was administered to middle school students at six schools participating in a larger lunchroom intervention. Mean perception scores were calculated for all measures. Multilevel logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between perceptions and consumption. Overall perceptions of staff, food, and atmosphere were positive, and students classified as school lunch eaters had more positive perceptions in all three areas than noneaters. Interventions to increase participation in school lunch programs and promote consumption of healthy food items should address multiple factors that contribute to school lunch participation.


Interventions targeting school meals have been used to combat obesity in rural youth. Parents play a powerful role in childhood nutrition; however, we know little about parents' perceptions of school meal programs. This study aimed to understand parents' perceptions of school meal programs. Surveys were administered to middle school parents (n = 576) at six schools in a rural state. We conducted univariate and multivariate analyses to measure parents' overall perceptions of the school meals program and to identify differences in perceptions by their children’s participation in the Free and Reduced Price School Meals (F&RM) program. Parents had largely negative views of school meals but agreed that they met students' needs. Results of the multivariate analysis revealed differences in perceptions by participation in F&RM including the relative importance of meal components. Including parents in meal-related experiences and decision making could improve their perceptions and increase children’s participation in school lunch programs.


This study examined the association between two implementation factors, nurse-reported intervention adherence and self-efficacy, and children’s outcomes in school nurse-delivered anxiety interventions. Data were collected in a pilot randomized controlled effectiveness trial with 54 children and 21 school nurses. Nurses implemented either a cognitive behavioral or relaxation-skills-only intervention. Nurse questionnaires assessed implementation factors. Independent evaluators assessed changes in children’s anxiety symptoms at postintervention and at 3-month follow-up using clinical improvement and global functioning scales. Regression analyses indicated that greater intervention adherence was associated with greater anxiety symptom improvement at follow-up. Nurse self-efficacy interacted with intervention group, such that nurses with higher self-efficacy who implemented the cognitive behavioral intervention tended to have children show improvement and higher postintervention functioning. The impact of implementation factors on children’s outcomes may differ depending on intervention type. Self-efficacy may be important for nurses using relatively complex interventions. Intervention adherence should be supported through training and consultation.


Asthma is the most common chronic condition in children under 18. In Alabama, 11% of children report a diagnosis of asthma compared to the United States with 9.5%. Childhood asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism due to a chronic disease, and Alabama children with asthma miss approximately 10 days of school each year for uncontrolled asthma. Managing children in the school system with asthma can often be challenging for school nurses. In this cross-sectional study, perceptions of Alabama school nurses on managing asthma in the school were explored. School nurses feel prepared to manage asthma but identify lack of certain resources and supportive policies, especially access to medications as barriers to optimum care. Implications for statewide advocacy at the policy level and broadening educational activities are supported by the survey results.