Health Education Training in Thailand

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an in-service health education training session that was given to the school teachers by the Health Education Department, Mahidol University, Thailand during April 1-30, 1980, on the health knowledge and attitudes of the participants.

Three questionnaires were administered to the teachers who attended the training workshop in a pretest-posttest and posttest only questionnaire design with a post-posttest measure six weeks after the training session ended. A random of 50 percent of the teachers were pretested, all of them were posttested, and a random of 50 percent were post-posttested. The same treatment using the same questionnaire was also performed on a control group but without the post-posttest.

Results were evaluated by comparing the results of the pretest and posttest of knowledge and attitudes of teachers who attended and did not attend the in-service training workshop. Also, the changes in knowledge and attitudes from posttest to post-posttest in the experimental group were evaluated.

The major findings of the study were: (1) The health knowledge of those teachers who attended the in-service training workshop increased after their participation in the training session. (2) At the post-posttest, the health knowledge of the participating teachers remained the same as it was after the posttest. (3) The attitudes toward health held by the teachers did not change as a result of the in-service training workshop. (4) There was no relationship between knowledge of health and the variables of sex, level of education, experience in teaching health, or previous training in health education of the participating teachers. (5) The older teachers were more likely to have higher health knowledge scores than the younger teachers. (6) The teachers from schools of 501-1,000 students were more likely to perform better on the health knowledge test than the other school size categories. (7) There was no relationship between attitudes toward health and the variables of age, sex, level of education, size of school, experience in teaching health, and previous training in health education of participating teachers. (8) The school district in which these teachers taught did not have any effect on their health knowledge or attitudes toward health. (9) There was a difference in the level of health education knowledge of those participating teachers in different areas of health education tested, with the highest score in school health services and first aids and lowest score in population education and family planning.

Hospital Versus Outpatient Care in Mental Health

Deinstitutionalization has been a major theme of social administration for more than 20 years. In mental health, efforts were made to reform the public mental hospital through an expansion of community-based outpatient care. It was assumed that an increased use of outpatient care would reduce the use of the mental hospital. This study tested that assumption.

The state of Ohio served as the setting for the cross sectional design. The county was the unit of analysis. The influence of other community-based services and key social and economic variables was controlled. The data collected for all variables were for fiscal year 1978. Simple, partial, and multiple correlational analyses were used to test the main hypothesis and to control for the influence of the other study variables.

A null relationship was found between hospital care and outpatient care, even when the influence of other variables was controlled. A secondary search revealed highly significant relationships between hospital use and the alternative community-based services, inpatient care and day treatment. Significant relationships were also found between hospital care and the unemployment rate and the taxable base of the county. The most plausible explanation for the null finding between hospital care and outpatient care is that the two programs serve two or more distinct patient populations.

The positive relationships found between hospital care and the alternative mental health services provide empirical evidence for the well-known “revolving door” phenomenon. Further research is needed to determine the nature of the multiple patient populations, the nature of the population caught in the revolving door, and the nature of the significant relationships found between hospital care and the two social factors.

Motivations for Exercise and Dietary Habits of College Students

The primary purpose of this topic was to compare the attitudes toward physical activity, attitudes toward nutrition, self motivation and family influences of college students with good exercise and dietary habits with those with poor exercise and dietary habits. A secondary purpose was to determine the predictive value of the variables in distinguishing exercise and dietary habits.

A sample of 278 male and female college students completed the survey. The subjects completed a seven day physical activities diary, a twenty-four hour dietary recall, Petrie’s Attitude Toward Physical Activities Survey, Sim’s Attitude Toward Nutrition Survey, Dishman’s Self Motivation Inventory, and a questionnaire on family influences designed by this researcher.

The following are the major findings of this study. Subjects with good exercise habits had more positive attitudes toward physical activity than those with poor exercise habits. An analysis of variance revealed a significantly larger amount (p < .01) of support for involvement in physical activity in the group with good exercise habits than in the group with poor exercise habits.

The attitudes of the subjects toward nutrition were unrelated to their dietary habits. The measure of self motivation also proved to be unrelated to both exercise and dietary habits. The encouragement of a subject’s family to exercise and eat nutritiously was also unrelated to his or her exercise or dietary habits. However, an inverse relationship was found between the amount of encouragement given by father and mother to exercise and eat nutritiously and the exercise and dietary habits.

The analysis of variance revealed significantly more encouragement was given by father and mother to those with poor exercise and dietary habits to exercise (p < .06) and to eat nutritiously (p < .05). Male and female college students in the same exercise habits group and in the same dietary habits group did not differ in attitude toward physical activity, attitude toward nutrition, self motivation, or family influences. However, when ungrouped, the males showed a significantly more positive, p < .01, attitude toward physical activity, and a significantly higher, p < .05, level of self motivation than the females. When grouped by combined good exercise and nutrition or poor exercise and nutrition the instruments correctly classified 69% of the subjects.

Separation-Individuation and Coping

This topic investigated how college adjustment was influenced by the level of separation-individuation and problem-focused coping strategies of freshmen students. Independent variables included Problem-focused Coping (measured by the Adolescent-Coping Orientation for Problem focused Experiences), Positive Separation Feelings from parents (measured by the Conflictual Independence subscale of the Psychological Separation Inventory and the Separation-Individuation Test of Adolescence), and Independence from Parents (measured by the Functional, Attitudinal, and Emotional Independence subscales of the Psychological Separation Inventory); the dependent variable was college adjustment (measured by the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire). College freshmen (n = 87) from a mid-sized southeastern university in the United States completed the scales at the end of their first year.

A path analysis using an ordinary least squares regression approach indicated that Freshmen students with higher Positive Separation Feelings and Problem-focused Coping strategies reported higher college adjustment. Also, the path analysis showed no direct effect of Independence from Parents on College Adjustment. However, there was a moderate indirect effect (through Problem-focused Coping) on college adjustment. Additional analyses revealed a significant multivariate effect for gender and parents’ marital status. Separate path analyses indicated that higher Independence from Parents was associated with lower Problem-focused Coping for both genders. Also, females and males who scored higher on Positive Separation Feelings from parents tended to report higher levels of college adjustment. Problem-focused Coping was a significant predictor of college adjustment significant predictor of adjustment for males only.

Results suggested that counseling interventions addressing ways to manage feelings about separating from home and the degree of independence from parents could be implemented to help freshmen resolve developmental tasks and, in turn, adjust better to college. In addition, programs that teach problem-focused coping strategies could be designed which help freshmen develop the resources needed to cope with the various college adjustment difficulties that arise, and thus reduce the number of students who fail to complete college.