Skip Navigation

Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

New: MCHbest strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCHbest. NPM 8: Physical Activity

MCH Best Logo five children on bicycles

Strategy. School-Based Family Intervention

Approach. Provide a school-based family intervention with instruction and support in or outside of school to encourage physical activity.

Return to main MCHbest page >>

Overview. Research indicates that an intervention where students and families are given instruction and support through their school with the goal of increasing physical activity influences physical activity behaviors in or out of school.1

Evidence. Emerging. Initial research showed positive results for a school-based family intervention to increase physical activity in children and adolescents. Further research is needed to identify critical components and confirm effects. This strategy has been tested more than once and results trend positive overall. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).

Target Audience. Children and adolescents.

Outcome. Increase in overall physical activity in children and adolescents. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the “Intervention Results” for each study.

Examples from the Field. Access descriptions of ESMs that use this strategy directly or intervention components that aligns with this strategy. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM.

Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Provide a school-based family intervention with instruction and support in or outside of school to encourage physical activity,” here are sample ESMs you can use to model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework (for suggestions on how to develop programs to support this strategy, see The Role of Title V in Adapting Strategies):

Quadrant 1:
Measuring Quantity of Effort
("What/how much did we do?")

  • Number of teachers trained to implement a school-based family intervention to promote healthy behaviors including physical activity.
  • Number of school districts implementing a school-based family intervention to promote healthy behaviors including physical activity.
  • Number of children completing a teacher-led family participation program to increase physical activity in and out-of-school.

Quadrant 2:
Measuring Quality of Effort
("How well did we do it?")

  • Percent of teachers trained to implement a school-based family intervention program to promote healthy behaviors including physical activity.
  • Percent of school districts implementing a school-based family intervention to promote healthy behaviors including physical activity.
  • Percent of children completing a teacher-led family participation program to increase physical activity in an out of school.

Quadrant 3:
Measuring Quantity of Effect
("Is anyone better off?")

  • Number of trained teachers using a school-based family intervention lesson and homework program to promote healthy behaviors including physical activity.
  • Number of school districts reporting an increase in school adoption of the family intervention program each year.
  • Number of children completing all the lessons in a school-based family intervention program.

Quadrant 4:
Measuring Quality of Effect
("How are they better off?")

  • Percent of trained teachers using a school-based family intervention lesson and homework program to promote healthy behaviors including physical activity.
  • Percent of school districts reporting an increase in school adoption of the family intervention program each year.
  • Percent of children reporting an increase in physical activity after completing a school-based family intervention program.

Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).

Learn More. Read how to create stronger ESMs and how to measure ESM impact more meaningfully through Results-Based Accountability.


References:

1 Siegrist M, Hanssen H, Lammel C, Haller B, Koch AM, Stemp P, Dandl E, Liestak R, Parhofer KG, Vogeser M, Halle M. Effects of a cluster-randomized school-based prevention program on physical activity and microvascular function (JuvenTUM 3). Atherosclerosis. 2018;278:73-81.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.