The theme of the 15th Annual EGSS conference was Promotion, Prevention and Intervention: Smalls Changes towards Healthy Living and Learning. The goal of the 2016 conference was to better integrate the research from the diverse departments within education. The applicability of our theme to diverse research topics was the key to attaining this goal.

Research shows that overall health is influenced by an interaction of physiological and psychological factors. Examples include but are not limited to the following: genetic predispositions, gene-environment interactions (Huxley et al., 2002; Holtzman, 2001), emotions, cognition, attitudes and beliefs, which can be circumstantial or perception based, and influenced by additional motivational factors (Berry and Worthington 2001; Herbert and Cohen, 1993; Kiecolt-Glaser, 1999, Lawler et al., 2000; Thomas et al., 1997) prenatal exposures (Abel and Sokol, 1987), family processes (Baumrind, 1971), school and early education programs (Krieger, Williams and Moss, 1997; Daly et al., 2002), peer influences (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 1996b), cultural practices (Garcia Coll and Maguson, 2000), and community initiatives, services and policies (Starfield et al., 1998; Chase-Lansdale et al., 2003). Often, these influential factors can be adapted to enhance the lifestyle of an individual or group of individuals, and can be used as promotion, prevention or intervention measures (PPI). Research also demonstrates that healthy lifestyle adaptations can have positive effects on academic (Baker et al., 2003) and workplace success (Chu et al., 2000) and improve overall life satisfaction (Fernandez et al., 2001). When viewed as a whole, PPI strategies form an analytical research cycle that can be pieced together to provide informed decision making for long term research objectives such as education reform.

The theme of this conference allowed for effective knowledge mobilization from a range of sources, and provided opportunities for further networking and opportunities.

Note:

Students’ research topics could have included all 3 strategies (promotion, prevention and intervention), or just focus on one or two. The goal was to create a bridge between peoples’ research topic and its contribution to lifestyle enhancement.

References:

Baker, J. A., Dilly, L. J., Aupperlee, J. L., & Patil, S. A. (2003). The developmental context of school satisfaction: Schools as psychologically healthy environments. School Psychology Quarterly, 18(2), 206.

Chu, C., Breucker, G., Harris, N., Stitzel, A., Gan, X., Gu, X., & Dwyer, S. (2000). Health-promoting workplaces—international settings development. Health promotion international, 15(2), 155-167.

Fernandez-Ballesteros, R., Zamarron, M.D., Ruiz, M.A. (2001). The contribution of socio-demographic and psychosocial factors to life satisfaction. Ageing and Society, 21(01), 25-43.

National Research Council (US); Institute of Medicine (US). Children’s Health, The Nation’s Wealth: Assessing and Improving Child Health. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004. 3, Influences on Children’s Health. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92200/