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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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Many children have diagnosed diabetes that must be safely managed at school. New laws have created the potential for school systems to rely more heavily on unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) than on nurses to deliver health services, including administration of insulin injections. Using the theory of planned behavior as a framework, aims were to (1) determine the nature and extent to which health services related to diabetes were being delegated to UAP in Kentucky schools, (2) describe the attitudes of Kentucky school nurses regarding the delegation of diabetes health services to UAP, and (3) examine the relationship of selected variables to school nurses' intentions to delegate diabetes health services. Survey results revealed that school nurses in Kentucky intended to delegate some diabetes-related tasks despite their lack of support for delegation of those tasks.

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Vaccination coverage among children in kindergarten varies across the country and within states. We surveyed a convenience sample of kindergarten school nurses to investigate self-reported vaccination-related activities conducted at schools nationwide. The majority of the 1,435 kindergarten school nurses responding reported that their schools communicate with parents and guardians of undervaccinated students by phone (96%), postal mail (67%), newsletters (61%), and e-mail (59%). Most respondents reported documenting vaccination coverage in electronic systems (85%) and sharing coverage reports with health departments (69%). A total of 41% of school nurses worked with external partners for vaccination efforts, the most common support received from partners being vaccine administration (38%) and providing materials/vaccines (21%). School nurses also reported that 95% of kindergartners were up to date for all vaccines. School-based vaccination-related activities are essential to sustaining high levels of vaccination coverage for the protection of children at schools and in the broader community.

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Communication with sexual partners about protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is associated with safer sexual behaviors among general populations of youth, but little is known about partner communication among American Indian youth. We assessed the prevalence of adolescents' communication with sexual partners about STI prevention and used multivariable logistic regression to examine associations between communication and safer sexual behaviors (condom use, reliable contraceptive use, and dual method use) among a statewide sample of in-school, American Indian youth in Minnesota in 2013 and 2016 ( n = 739). Half (49.5%) of sexually experienced American Indian youth reported talking about STI prevention at least once with every sexual partner. Communication was associated with all examined safer sexual behaviors among females and only with condom use among males. Study findings highlight the importance of school nurses, health educators, and other clinicians addressing partner communication when counseling adolescent patients.

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School nurses may find increased capacity to respond to student mental health needs by understanding and capitalizing on the innovative work behavior (IWB) of faculty and staff. The purpose of this study was to describe IWB related to student mental health among middle school faculty and staff as well as to determine the influence of selected individual characteristics, school characteristics, and behavioral health indicators on IWB related to student mental health. Multimethods of data collection were used including surveys, interviews, and publicly available school data. Data were described and relationships examined via correlational and multiple linear regression analysis and hierarchical linear modeling. The median IWB score was 41 (range 0-84) for faculty and staff participants. An increase in number of years worked in the K-12 environment was associated with less IWB related to student mental health. School nurses who explore IWB by faculty and staff may find opportunities to collaborate and improve student health outcomes.

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Schools are uniquely positioned to impact student health and academic outcomes through health and wellness policies. The purpose of this study was to describe factors influencing implementation of school health and wellness policies, specifically those focused on physical activity and nutrition. In-depth, stakeholder interviews were conducted with key informants at eight Chicago Public Schools (K-eighth grade). Data were analyzed using summative content analysis. Two themes were identified, facilitators and challenges to policy implementation. Facilitators included district support and motivation (internal and external). Challenges included limited school nurse availability, breaking tradition and budget. The external community and wellness team composition fell within both themes. Specific strategies are suggested to build upon policy implementation facilitators and overcome challenges. While school nurses play an integral role in student health and wellness, further research is needed to understand school nurse impact on student health and academic outcomes through school health policy.

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Longer sedentary time and insufficient sleep are common and potentially serious problems among adolescents and have substantially adverse effects on their physical and mental health. In this school-based study, we conducted an ecological momentary assessment using actigraphy to examine the within-subject association between sedentary time and sleep duration among 80 Korean adolescents aged 12-17. Objectively measured sedentary time and sleep duration were recorded over 5 days; participants also completed a self-reported questionnaire and sleep logs. Using a generalized estimating equation, analysis revealed that daily sedentary time was significantly and negatively associated with sleep duration (β = -.36, p = .028). Additionally, the interaction between age and sedentary time significantly affected sleep duration (β = .03, p = .012). These findings suggest the need for school-based interventions that aim to reduce sedentary time and thereby improve sleep duration, helping adolescents, especially younger ones, to achieve a healthier lifestyle.