Breakfast clubs: Starting the day in a positive way

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Breakfast clubs are widely promoted as having a beneficial impact on children’s behavior at the start of the school day, which can be conducive to their learning within the classroom. However, the few available studies that have considered the impact of breakfast club attendance on children’s behavior have yielded mixed results and no studies to date have directly observed children’s behavior within the breakfast club setting. Using a combination of real-time observation and filmed breakfast club footage, the aims of the current study were to: (1) devise a set of observational criteria appropriate for use in the breakfast club setting; (2) investigate the occurrence of both positive and negative behaviors. A sample of 30 children aged between 3 and 11 years were recruited from 3, opportunistically sampled primary school breakfast clubs in the North East of England, UK. The behaviors they displayed within the breakfast club setting on two separate days were observed and coded for subsequent analysis. Results of the investigation showed that children’s behavior could be classified into three positive and three negative behavioral categories. Using these categories to code children’s behavior as they engaged in breakfast club showed that children displayed more positive than negative behaviors within the breakfast club setting and this was the case regardless of the type of activity (i.e., quiet or boisterous) children were involved in. Findings are discussed in relation to breakfast club policy, implementation, and evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2015


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