Children’s health behaviors are influenced by access to healthful communities within residential neighborhoods. However, influence of these environments surrounding educational settings, including schools and Centers for Early Childhood Education (ECE), is unknown. This dissertation project aims to investigate how health of communities surrounding schools and ECEs influence child behavior and classroom health practices. METHODS: This dissertation includes one systematic review and results from one crosssectional statewide survey of Oklahoma ECEs. The systematic review provides an update on a 2014 literature review to determine impact of the retail food environment surrounding schools on child dietary outcomes; sub-aims further described these associations by neighborhood income and child age. The final two manuscripts report findings from a cross-sectional statewide survey (i.e. the Communities and Classroom Health Survey) which collected information on ECE location as well as director-reported classroom physical activity and nutrition practices for Oklahoma Head Starts, community-based ECEs, and family childcare homes. (author abstract)
Association between health-enhancing community environment and early childhood education classroom health practices
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