The contribution of school-site health and wellness opportunities, personal interest in health and perceived health competence to health-related role perceptions in teachers
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Introduction. Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have established comprehensive frameworks to promote and maintain student health. One method, school-site health and wellness, seeks to enhance the health and well-being of school personnel. Existing research offers that health and wellness opportunities for staff contribute to student health by enhancing teacher interest in and competence for health. Purpose. This inquiry sought to investigate the association between the perceived availability of school-site health and wellness opportunities, personal health-related factors, and role perceptions pertinent to student health. Methods. A 107 item online questionnaire was utilized to collect data from a sample of Missouri teachers (n = 104). Hierarchical multiple regression was used to identify the predictive value of available health and wellness opportunities, personal interest in health, and perceived health competence on teacher role perceptions for student health. Results. Significant correlations between teacher personal health-related variables and teacher role perceptions for student health were identified. Most importantly, teacher personal interest in health significantly explained approximately 7% of the variance associated with teacher role breadth for student health. Implications. This study suggests that teacher personal interest in health may serve as a viable mechanism to enhance teacher role breadth for student health. Such a relationship also highlights the need for continued investigation regarding how school-site health and wellness may impact student health, the value of healthy teachers within schools, and the complex formation of teacher roles pertinent to actual engagement in student health promoting behaviors.