Research Research and Professional Brief| Volume 105, ISSUE 8, P1289-1294, August 2005

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Dietetics Students Perceive Themselves as Leaders and Report They Demonstrate Leadership in a Variety of Contexts


      A leadership survey was designed and administered to undergraduate dietetics students (n=283) at eight universities to examine leadership actions reported most frequently, the context of these leadership actions, and students’ reported perceptions of themselves as leaders. The majority of students perceive themselves as leaders in all context areas. The leadership practice, “Enabling Others to Act,” was the most frequently reported. There were no significant differences in leadership behaviors based on college classification status and supervisory experience. Leadership behaviors were more prevalent in students who had previous leadership coursework, were older, or who had previous leadership experience. Dietetics students perceive they demonstrate leadership and do so in a variety of contexts, most frequently in class. Therefore, classroom activities may help strengthen leadership abilities of future dietetics professionals.
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      S. W. Arendt is an assistant professor and M. B. Gregoire is a professor and chair, Department of Apparel, Educational Studies, and Hospitality Management, Iowa State University, Ames.