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J Sch Health. 2015 Nov;85(11):740-58. doi: 10.1111/josh.12309.

Critical connections: health and academics.

Author information

1
Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway NE (Mailstop F-78), Atlanta, GA 30341. sot2@cdc.gov.
2
Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway NE (Mailstop F-78), Atlanta, GA 30341. cmerlo@cdc.gov.
3
Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027. ceb35@columbia.edu.
4
Department of Human Development, College of Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. wentzel@umd.edu.
5
Alliance for a Healthier Generation, c/o the Clinton Foundation, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, 42nd Floor, New York, NY 10020. howell.wechsler@healthiergeneration.org.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

While it is a national priority to support the health and education of students, these sectors must better align, integrate, and collaborate to achieve this priority. This article summarizes the literature on the connection between health and academic achievement using the Whole School, Whole Community, and Whole Child (WSCC) framework as a way to address health-related barriers to learning.

METHODS:

A literature review was conducted on the association between student health and academic achievement.

RESULTS:

Most of the evidence examined the association between student health behaviors and academic achievement, with physical activity having the most published studies and consistent findings. The evidence supports the need for school health services by demonstrating the association between chronic conditions and decreased achievement. Safe and positive school environments were associated with improved health behaviors and achievement. Engaging families and community members in schools also had a positive effect on students' health and achievement.

CONCLUSIONS:

Schools can improve the health and learning of students by supporting opportunities to learn about and practice healthy behaviors, providing school health services, creating safe and positive school environments, and engaging families and community. This evidence supports WSCC as a potential framework for achieving national educational and health goals.

KEYWORDS:

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model; academic achievement; child and adolescent health; health behaviors; school health programs

PMID:
26440816
PMCID:
PMC4606776
DOI:
10.1111/josh.12309
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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