Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems (MSNFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Julie Plasencia


The purpose of this mixed methods study was to learn how cultural sensitivity was integrated and perceived in community nutrition education of an existing program offered by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service Nutrition Education Program. Data collection consisted of a quantitative cultural competence assessment survey tool used with nutrition education paraprofessionals (n=74), qualitative in-depth interviews of nutrition education paraprofessionals (n=8) and focus groups of Hispanic/Latino nutrition education program participants (n=39). Findings were focused in three areas; the cultural sensitivity needs of the program, the perception of nutrition education by participants and the training and professional development needs of nutrition education paraprofessionals. Among the cultural sensitivity needs of the program identified were curriculum resource needs, community referral needs, the importance of community partnerships and the importance of incorporation of children in nutrition education were identified. Among the training and professional development needs of nutrition education paraprofessionals, a need for Hispanic cultural education, language services education and chronic disease education were reported. The value of cross-cultural exchange and the need for chronic disease education in relation to dietary habits were identified by the participant focus group findings.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)