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Open AccessArticle

The Role of School Leaders’ Health Literacy for the Implementation of Health Promoting Schools

1
Department of Nursing and Health Science, Fulda University of Applied Sciences, 36037 Fulda, Germany
2
Department of Nursing and Health Science, Leuphana University Lueneburg, 21337 Lueneburg, Germany
3
Department of Applied Human Sciences, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences, 39676 Stendal, Germany
4
Faculty of Educational Science, Centre for Prevention and Intervention in Childhood and Adolescence, University of Bielefeld, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1855; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061855
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 4 March 2020 / Accepted: 11 March 2020 / Published: 12 March 2020
Background: The promotion of health literacy is seen as an urgent goal in public health and education and, hence, should be integrated in the school context as a component of the holistic health promoting school (HPS) approach. However, only limited empirical studies have addressed health literacy of school staff so far. Hence, this study aimed to examine the level of health literacy among school leaders and its association with the extent of HPS implementation. Methods: A cross-sectional study with n = 680 school principals and members of the school management board from Germany was carried out at the end of 2018. Individual health literacy, attitudes, and competencies towards HPS and occupational self-efficacy served as independent variables and the level of HPS implementation was the dependent variable. Data were analyzed using univariate and bivariate analysis as well as multiple binary logistic regression. Results: 29.3% of school leaders show a limited health literacy with significantly higher values found for male respondents. Regression analyses revealed that male gender (OR: 1.91, 95% CI: 1.22–2.99), HPS attitudes (OR: 3.17, 95% CI: 2.13–4.72), and HPS competencies (OR: 3.66, 95% CI: 2.43–5.50) were associated with a lower level of HPS implementation. Furthermore, regression analyses differentiated by gender showed that limited health literacy is associated with a low level of HPS implementation for male school leaders only (OR: 2.81, 95% CI: 1.22–6.45). Conclusions: The promotion of health literacy especially for male leaders would not only result in positive effects on an individual level but also could contribute to a stronger implementation of activities on school health promotion. We suggest integrating health literacy, HPS attitudes, and competencies more strongly into the qualification and in further training of school leaders. View Full-Text
Keywords: school leaders; principals; health literacy; health promoting school; implementation school leaders; principals; health literacy; health promoting school; implementation
MDPI and ACS Style

Dadaczynski, K.; Rathmann, K.; Hering, T.; Okan, O. The Role of School Leaders’ Health Literacy for the Implementation of Health Promoting Schools. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1855.

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