First Advisor

Dannelle D. Stevens

Date of Publication

Fall 11-28-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum & Instruction




School breakfast programs, High school students -- Nutrition, Students -- Attitudes, School employees -- Attitudes, Body weight



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 176 pages)


Research suggests that participation in the School Breakfast Program positively impacts academic success by improving student behavior, cognitive functioning, and attendance. Additionally, the School Breakfast Program appears to improve food insecurity, overall health and weight-related issues. However, compared to the National School Lunch Program, participation in the School Breakfast Program has been historically low, especially at the high school level. Using an integrated composite framework, a combination of social cognitive theory and ecological systems theory, as the conceptual model, this qualitative case study explored factors influencing student breakfast eating and participation in the school's breakfast program within a college-preparatory high school serving culturally diverse, predominantly low-income students. I used an all-staff survey as a qualitative data collection tool, and semi-structured interviews with school staff, student focus groups, and a Draw-A-High-School-Student-Breakfast Test to collect qualitative data. Using thematic networks as an analysis tool, I examined the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of school staff and students about breakfast eating and participation in the school's breakfast program. The study found that communication about the School Breakfast Program, arriving to school in time to eat, and relationships with food service staff, influence participation in the School Breakfast Program. The findings are discussed in terms of their significance on practice and policy within both education and public health sectors. The study concludes with recommendations for future research.


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