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Understanding Policy-Influencer Perspectives on the Adoption and Spread of Provincial Daily Physical Activity Policies across Canada: A Multiple Case Study Open Access


Other title
qualitative research
public health
multiple case study
policy diffusion
daily physical activity
health promotion
school policy
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Campbell, Elizabeth J
Supervisor and department
Nykiforuk, Candace I J (School of Public Health)
Examining committee member and department
Raine, Kim D (School of Public Health)
Church, John (Faculty of Arts)
Spence, John C (Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation)
Storey, Kate E (School of Public Health)
School of Public Health
Health Promotion
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Master of Science
Degree level
Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and contributes to improved physical and mental health. In Canada, children are becoming more inactive and are at risk of poor health outcomes and chronic disease. School physical activity policies represent one intervention strategy to address childhood physical inactivity. These policies may set guidelines and requirements for students to achieve a minimum standard of daily physical activity (DPA). The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore: 1) key facilitators and challenges to DPA policy development, adoption and implementation; and 2) the role of policy diffusion in the adoption and spread of DPA policies across Canada. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with fifteen policy-influencers from five case provinces: British Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; and Ontario. Findings from policy-influencer interviews revealed that facilitators and challenges to DPA policy development, adoption, and implementation aligned with four key themes: provincial context; connection between policy expectations and realities; political influence; and ideology and policy change. An analysis of whether diffusion played a role in the adoption and spread of DPA revealed evidence to support policy diffusion through the mechanism of learning. Alternative explanations, such as independent provincial action to address a common issue, also contributed to policy adoption. Overall, research on the factors involved with policy development and diffusion can better inform why and how healthy public policy like DPA can help to address complex public health issues.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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