Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Robert L. Williams

Committee Members

Dianne Whitaker, Glenn Graber, Sandra Thomas


This study examined parents'/guardians' self-management and its relationship to their children's self-management, academic performance, and health. It also examined the relationship between these children's self-management and their own health and academic performance. The sample consisted of 94 seventh grade student and parent/guardian pairs from an inner city school in the southeast. A parental consent form, student assent form, consent form for the release of academic records, the Lifestyle Approaches Inventory (Williams, Moore, Pettibone, & Thomas, 1992) and the Lifestyle Approaches Inventory- Revised were sent home with every seventh grade student in the school. Participation was encouraged by offering incentives to students for forms completed by both parent and student and physical parameters obtained from students. Participation rate was 52.2%

The Lifestyle Approaches (LSA) inventory was determined to be valid and reliable on an adult population of which 82% were college students. Therefore, the inventory's language was simplified for this project. In order to determine if the original inventory and the revised inventory (LSA-R) resulted in similar quantitative values, both inventories were given to a volunteer sample of 30 adults prior to the study of children and their parents/guardians. The mean score for both inventories was 46.77 and correlation between the two inventories was .90 (p<.01). Additionally, six items were selected from the Marlowe-Crowne Social-Desirability Scale (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960) and added to both the LSA and LSA-R. These items were included to measure the tendency to give socially approved, but unrealistic, responses.

Health was operationalized as (a) body mass index for age and gender, (b) blood pressure for age and gender, (c) parent's/guardian's report of the child's health status, (d) student's report of his or her OAvn health status, (e) nutritional intake as assessed by a 24- hour dietary recall, (f) level of physical activity, and (g) parental report of child's clinic and emergency room visits within the past year. Academic performance was operationalized as grade point average. Terra Nova Achievement Test scores (total percentile score), and the number of school absences. All academic performance variables were obtained from school records.

Data were evaluated with correlational, t-test comparison of the means, and multiple regression analysis. A significant correlation (p<.01) was obtained between parents'/guardians' self-management and students' self-management, but there were no significant correlations between student or parent/guardian self-management and student academic performance. Likewise, neither student nor parent/guardian self-management was significantly correlated with the health measures. Similarly, comparisons at the extremes of academic and health measures showed minimal linkage between these variables and self-management. In the multiple regression analysis, self-management scores of parents'/guardians/ or students' had little more explanatory power for academic performance and health measures than the variables of parent/guardian educational level and the report of the family's financial problems. The variance explained by self-management (predictor variable) when academic performance and health measures were criterion variables ranged from 0 to 3.2%.

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