Katie Niebuhr, Kinesiology and Health, "The Measurement of Social Support for Energy Balance Related Behavior in Parents of School-Aged Children"

2011 Graduate Research Forum Top Oral Presentation


Katie Niebuhr, a Miami University Kinesiology and Health graduate student, received recognition as one of the top Oral Presentations at the 2011 Miami University Graduate Research Forum for her work "The Measurement of Social Support for Energy Balance Related Behavior in Parents of School-Aged Children."  Her research was based on previous literature from Kansas State University in which data was collected from the parents of 4th and 5th grade children in order to measure parental support for physical activity, dietary behavior, sedentary behavior and gardening.  In coordination with Dr. Karly Geller, the research was conducted by Kansas State University under the direction of Dr. David Dzewaltowski.  The study was part of a large grant to build six community gardens in the Manhattan, Kansas area.  "It was Dr. Geller who provided me this opportunity" said Niebuhr.  "She allowed me to research the uniqueness of gradening as an educational tool and as a way for children to be more physically active."

The opportunity for research in this area afforded Niebuhr the chance to focus her interest in gardening as an educational tool to promote healthy eating as well as serve as an outlet for physical activity.  She was first introduced to the concept of gardening as a physical activity tool for children in a Sport Psychology seminar and was instantly fascinated by the concept.  "I believe that children learn through doing and education of healthy eating and physical activity through gardening will carry over into their everyday lifestyles as they grow" said Niebuhr.

Niebuhr plans to continue to assist Dr. Geller and Dr. Dzewaltowski with the current dataand aid in both research and manuscript writing for the publication of the findings.  In addition, she anticipates working with Dr. Geller on a grant involving athletes and non-athletes and multiple health behavior interventions.  She hopes her work will promote the foundations of sport psychology to the general public concerning physical activity and its possible influence on other health behaviors.