Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Educational Specialist (EdS)



Committee Chair(s)

Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez


Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez


Gretchen Peacock


Donna Gilbertson


Many theories have been developed to help explain and predict human behavior. Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) holds that behavior is based on behavioral intention, as well as attitudes, subjective (or social) norms, and perceived behavioral control. According to the TPB mode, perceived behavioral control moderates (or influences) the effect of behavioral intentions on behavior. Previous research has focused on the application of TPB to health behaviors, although some research has been done in educational situations. In addition, dual language immersion (DLI) programs are increasing in popularity, particularly in Utah. The Utah model begins in first grade, and follows a 50/50 model where students are taught half the day in English and half the day in the target language. Because of its researched based program, Utah has become a recognized leader in the field of DLI through its focus on sufficient instruction time, active cognitive engagement, motivation, continuity of learning, and cultural interaction. Yet, despite the popularity of DLI programs, little is known about the factors that motivate parents to enroll their children in DLI. The current study uses longitudinal survey methodology to evaluate how the TPB applies to parents’ intentions and behavior of enrollment in DLI (N = 74). Only about one third of participants took steps towards enrollment. Results indicate that parental attitudes significantly influenced behavioral intentions to enroll. In addition, for every one-unit increase in behavioral intentions, there was a 2.78 greater likelihood in enrollment. Limitations of sample size and difficulties of recruitment are discussed. Implications of the findings and areas for future research are also presented.