Dr. Richard R. Rosenkranz, Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University, has focused his research on the identification of modifiable influences of healthful eating and physical activity among youth that lead to health promotion interventions designed to prevent obesity. His studies have been set in after-school programs, Girl Scout troops, schools, summer programs, and organized sport.
The framework underlying Dr. Rosenkranz’s work is to reach children and adolescents within a behavioral setting (home, after-school programs, youth sport, girl scouts), and to develop, implement, and evaluate intervention programs designed to impact the psychosocial mediators of healthy behavior. Dr. Rosenkranz’s work entails the development of sustainable changes to the determinants of physical activity and healthful eating by targeting children concurrently with the adults who help to define the structure and policies related to children’s behavior settings and the home environment. Most recently, Dr. Rosenkranz has developed a model for delivering an evidence-based coaching intervention to children in the home environment.
Dr. Rosenkranz earned a baccalaureate degree with honors in Human Development and Family Life and Psychology at the University of Kansas in 1993. He earned a master’s degree in Psychology at the University of North Dakota in 1996, another master’s degree in Kinesiology in 2001 and his doctorate in Human Nutrition in 2008 at Kansas State University. In the years between baccalaureate and doctoral degrees, he pursued a career in high performance sport, serving as the Junior National Team Coach and also Athlete Development Director for USA Triathlon.
From 2010-2011, Dr. Rosenkranz was Lecturer and Research Fellow at the University of Western Sydney in Australia, and retained the title of Adjunct Fellow with that Australian institution after returning to Kansas State University in 2012. He currently serves as an associate editor for both Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, and BMC Sports Science, Medicine & Rehabilitation. He is active in the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, the International Society for Physical Activity and Health, and is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.
Questions & Answers
The order of presentation of materials, both within and between modules, could be rearranged to suit the needs of those using the curriculum. It could be adapted in the total duration. For example, it could be presented one module per week if troops meet weekly, or even once per month for those meeting less frequently or doing lots of other scout programming.
I think it could easily be adapted to similar positive youth development programs such as Campfire Girls, Girl Guides, Scouts, 4H, possibly even boy scouts.
With so much of the curriculum focused on take-home assignments that are rewarded with scouting badges, I suppose I would be nervous about adapting it to a program that doesn't have a similar achievement and reward structure.
Facilitators to implementation would be accessing all the materials on our website and viewing the short videos http://www.scoutswellness.org/snap-videos. Also, learning how to create group-based physical activity sessions would be useful, as many leaders have told us they lack confidence in this area. We are working to create some videos to assist troop leaders with this. Meanwhile, CATCH (https://catchinfo.org/) has some nice resources available, or leaders could work with a local PE teacher to provide some ideas. Girls often also like to make up their own games, and this could be a great way to let the program take a life of its own, particularly for the older group of Juniors. This could be a way to promote building "girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place."
Challenges can be fitting the program and curriculum into the rest of girl scout programming. For some troop leaders and girl scouts, friction between the promotion of healthful eating and the financial need to sell lots of girl scout cookies can arise.
We have some materials available online at http://www.scoutswellness.org/new-page and a factsheet. Though we don't have great data on this, I think the biggest key for sustainable impact of the program is involvement of parents. Thus, asking question around parents' program awareness, receipt of materials, assistance with badge assignments, and trying health promotion activities at home could be key.
I am currently developing and evaluating a model for delivering an evidence-based wellness coaching interventions to children in the home environment. Our lab is also developing some rigorous direct observation methods to measure interactions among children, behavior, and environment in positive youth development programs. Lastly, we are working on a line of health promotion studies within the youth sport setting. Generally, our lab is working on taking all that we have learned from after-school programs, girl scouts, physical education, child care, and youth sport to create a system of continuous quality improvement materials for teachers and leaders to promote health in their settings.