"Mummy, Can I Join a Sports Club?" A Qualitative Study on the Impact of Health-Promoting Schools on Health Behaviours in the Home Setting

M.T.H. Hahnraths*, M. Willeboordse, A.D.H.M. Jungbauer, C. de Gier, C. Schouten, C.P. van Schayck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Information regarding school-based health-promoting interventions' potential effects in the home environment is scarce. Gaining more insight into this is vital to optimise interventions' potential. The Healthy Primary School of the Future (HPSF) is a Dutch initiative aiming to improve children's health and well-being by providing daily physical activity sessions and healthy school lunches. This qualitative study examines if and how HPSF influenced children's and parents' physical activity and dietary behaviours at home. In 2018-2019, 27 semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents from two HPSFs. Interviews were recorded and transcribed, and data were coded and interpreted through thematic analysis. HPSF resulted in various behavioural changes at home, initiated by both children and parents. Parents reported improvements in healthy behaviours, as well as compensatory, unhealthy behaviours. Reasons for behavioural change included increased awareness, perceived support to adopt healthy behaviours, and children asking for the same healthy products at home. Barriers to change included no perceived necessity for change, lack of HPSF-related information provision, and time and financial constraints. Both child-to-adult intergenerational learning and parent-initiated changes play an important role in the transfer of health behaviours from school to home and are therefore key mechanisms to maximise school-based health-promoting interventions' impact.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12219
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • primary school
  • health-promoting school
  • qualitative research
  • physical activity
  • nutrition
  • behavioural change

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