Teens as Teachers: Positive Outcomes and Recommendations for Promoting Healthy Nutrition in Adolescents
Keywords:teens as teachers, nutrition, youth–adult partnerships, social cognitive theory
The prevalence of overweight and obese status in adolescence points to a need to identify and broadly disseminate effective approaches promoting healthy eating. One promising approach engages teens as teachers to implement a nutrition education curriculum for younger youth. This article highlights qualitative evaluation results of a cross-age peer-teaching program on teen teachers. Results strengthen our knowledge base of cross-age peer teaching and inform policy and practice implications. Teens experienced greater internalization of curriculum content as evidenced by increased knowledge, improved behaviors, and overcoming barriers to healthy eating. These findings are grounded in social learning theory. To disseminate cross-age peer teaching within youth-serving organizations, we recommend the use of an evidence-based framework to guide program implementation and the development of policy to ensure intentional teen teaching opportunities.
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