Georgia Southern Identified Social Marketing Concepts that Inform Program Adaptation
Physical activity offers children and youth many well-documented positive effects on health. The present study adapted a community-based prevention marketing campaign (CBPM), VERBTM Summer Scorecard (VSS) to promote physical activity among minority youth in rural, southeast Georgia. The purpose of this paper is to describe the adaptation process, emphasizing methods used and lessons learned.
Formative research results suggested two changes to VSS that would be required for the program to work in this rural community – a focus on parent-child activities instead of a sole focus on youth and changes to the Scorecard that was used to track physical activity. Over the course of three years of implementation, several lessons were learned about university-community partnerships (e.g., the need for a balance of power), having a program champion, and program evaluation.
The study concluded that rural communities are a unique context, with barriers to health promotion efforts that serve to contribute to negative health behaviors and resistance to change. The limited capacity of rural communities to address physical activity makes these barriers difficult to overcome, even during implementation of evidence-based practices.
“Adapting a physical activity intervention for youth in a rural area: A case study,” was published in the Journal for Georgia Public Health Association.
Dr. Moya L. Alfonso, Associate Professor of Community Health Behavior and Education at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) Georgia Southern University was lead author. Dr. Ashley Walker and Ms. Akrati Gupta, JPHCOPH were co-authors.