Reports results from a study concerning children’s knowledge of and attitudes towards cancer, and their understanding of health and health‐related behaviours, with the specific aim of informing future health promotion work. Using “draw and write” techniques, the findings indicate that these children possessed considerable health‐related knowledge. Exercise and healthy eating were seen as the most important factors in keeping healthy, whereas smoking and bad diet were cited most often as representing unhealthy behaviour. However, both categories also included more general items, embracing both environmental and “individualistic” factors. Similarly, children appeared to possess considerable knowledge about cancer, particularly about lung cancer, but there was also some understanding of other cancers such as breast and skin cancer and leukaemia. Concerning sources of information, most of the children’s knowledge about cancer appeared to derive from television and other media; in particular, soap operas appeared to exert a considerable influence on these young children. Considers the implications of these findings for traditional approaches to health education and the methodological issues involved in researching children’s health.
Bendelow, G., Williams, S. and Oakley, A. (1996), "It makes you bald: children’s knowledge and beliefs about health and cancer prevention", Health Education, Vol. 96 No. 3, pp. 12-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654289610112376Download as .RIS
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