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Wellness and adolescents : the effects of a school-based intervention

McGill University
Publication Date
  • High Schools -- Health Promotion Services -- Québec (Province) -- Case Studies.
  • High School Students -- Health And Hygiene -- Québec (Province) -- Case Studies.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a school-based wellness program, Looking Good...Feeling Great! (Zacour & Zacour, 1991), on ninth grade students' wellness levels, and to evaluate student and teacher impressions of the program. Experimental groups (n = 62) from one urban and two suburban secondary schools participated in the four day 175 minute Looking Good...Feeling Great! program, while control groups (n = 37) from the same schools followed their regular academic schedules. All participants completed TestwellTM (National Wellness Institute, Inc., 1994), a wellness inventory for high school students, as a pretest, one week later as a posttest, and one and one half months later as a follow-up test. Student focus groups and teacher interviews were conducted after the posttest. Results showed that (a) experimental group wellness scores significantly increased from pretest to posttest (ES = .22), (b) experimental groups maintained their increased wellness levels one and one half months following completion of the program (ES = .24), and (c) there was no significant effect of gender on experimental group wellness scores, although females scored significantly higher than males overall. In general, students and teachers conveyed favourable impressions of the program. However, somewhat negative impressions of the program from the students and teacher at the urban secondary school imply that this type of school may benefit from a wellness program that better suits the needs of its constituents. The results indicate that the Looking Good...Feeling Great! program can be an effective tool in helping adolescents acquire healthy lifestyles through the enhancement of wellness levels.

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