EFNEP training and work experience
MetadataShow full item record
The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is a federally funded nutrition education program, for low-income families, which operates through state land-grant institutions. The strength of the EFNEP program is in its unique approach to reaching these families through the use of paraprofessionals who are indigenous to the target population. Paraprofessionals are hired and trained to conduct educational intervention programs in local communities. Through the implementation of local EFNEP programs, much data is gathered which documents the impact of the program on the participants enrolled. However, there is little documentation concerning the effect that EFNEP has on the paraprofessionals who conduct these programs. This study explores the role of the EFNEP paraprofessional, and the individual change which they incur as a result of their involvement in the program. Specifically, this study identifies factors of psychosocial change, which EFNEP paraprofessionals undergo as a result of their training and work experience, and factors which are associated with the psychosocial impact. The design of this study was qualitative, and was accomplished through the use of four focus groups with a total sample size of twenty participants. The constant comparative method was chosen for data analysis, which is a systematic process of constantly comparing occurrences in the data in order to develop themes or categories. Based on the analysis, conclusions are presented about the psychosocial impact of EFNEP training and work experience on the EFNEP paraprofessional and the factors which contribute to change. A model is presented which suggests that this psychosocial impact is a sum of training, support and work experiences when added to the preexisting characteristics that the paraprofessionals have when hired into the program. Under these conditions, paraprofessionals may exhibit changes including skills development, heightened community status, and changes in personal and community relationships. They may also exhibit changes which were identified as the way in which they view others, increased caring for others, and an increase in positive self concept.