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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Sari Laine, Terhi Saaranen, Eva Ryhänen and Kerttu Tossavainen

The purpose of this paper is to present well-being, leadership, and the development of each from a communal perspective in a Finnish primary school in the years 2000-2009.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present well-being, leadership, and the development of each from a communal perspective in a Finnish primary school in the years 2000-2009.

Design/methodology/approach

The study included five sets of data. The quantitative research data were collected from the school staff using the Well-Being at Your Work index questionnaire in 2004 (n=36), 2005 (n=41), and in 2009 (n=34). In 2006, two group interviews were carried out with the school personnel (n=21), and in 2011, retrospective interview data were collected from an expert classroom teacher (n=1). Quantitative data were analysed statistically using descriptive statistics. The qualitative group interview data were analysed by an inductive content analysis, while the expert interview was analysed according to the methods of factual analysis.

Findings

During this period, several communal interventions were developed in the school to promote occupational well-being. Over the course of the study, staff members’ satisfaction with the actions and the support provided by the principal has improved, and leadership-related problems have decreased.

Research limitations/implications

The results cover research findings from one school and therefore cannot be generalised to other Finnish school communities.

Originality/value

Schools’ work communities must be active in developing interventions to improve their own occupational well-being. Furthermore, leaders must be actively involved in the development of occupational well-being.

Details

Health Education, vol. 117 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Hannele Turunen, Kerttu Tossavainen, Sirkka Jakonen, Ulla Salomäki and Harri Vertio

Reports on a study that examined the issues related to health promotion in the 30 Finnish comprehensive schools participating in the European Network of Health Promoting…

Abstract

Reports on a study that examined the issues related to health promotion in the 30 Finnish comprehensive schools participating in the European Network of Health Promoting Schools (ENHPS). The data were collected from school representatives in January 1998, at a national ENHPS event, using a questionnaire developed for the study. The response rate was 100 per cent. The results show that the school representatives considered that a general infrastructure for health promotion existed in schools, and that the clarification of the mission of health promotion in schools was well developed. Networking within the communities that surrounded the schools was reported as being uncommon.

Details

Health Education, vol. 100 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2012

Terhi Saaranen, Marjorita Sormunen, Tiia Pertel, Karin Streimann, Siivi Hansen, Liana Varava, Kädi Lepp, Hannele Turunen and Kerttu Tossavainen

This paper aims to present the baseline results of a research and development project targeted to improve the occupational well‐being of school staff and maintain their…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the baseline results of a research and development project targeted to improve the occupational well‐being of school staff and maintain their ability to work, in Finland and Estonia. It reveals the most problematic factors in the various aspects of the school community and professional competence and outlines development needs in the school communities.

Design/methodology/approach

The overall project design is action research, conducted during 2009‐2013 in the SHE (Schools for Health in Europe) network in Finland and Estonia. The baseline survey data were collected in 2009‐2010 with a web‐based Well‐being at your work index questionnaire and analysed statistically using descriptive statistics, sum variables of factors and Mann‐Whitney tests.

Findings

The general opinions of the Finnish school staffs were more affirmative than those of Estonian school staffs regarding their own personal occupational well‐being in comparison with the best in the profession (p=0.000). However, the Finns were more critical than the Estonians when estimating the general well‐being of the staff in their working community, maintenance of their ability to work, the aspects of the school community and professional competence and development needs in the school communities.

Research limitations/implications

The results cannot be widely generalised due to the geographically defined samples, but they can be suggestive in comparable situations in Finland and Estonia.

Originality/value

There is a need to develop the occupational well‐being of school staff and maintenance of their ability to work in the school communities: specific interventions will be developed on the basis of the results obtained from the project schools.

Details

Health Education, vol. 112 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Terhi Saaranen, Kerttu Tossavainen, Hannele Turunen and Paula Naumanen

The purpose of this paper is to present the baseline results of a school development project where the aim was to improve school community staff's occupational wellbeing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the baseline results of a school development project where the aim was to improve school community staff's occupational wellbeing in co‐operation with occupational health nurses.

Design/methodology/approach

The Wellbeing at Your Work index form for school staff developed for the study aimed to account for occupational wellbeing and satisfaction in terms of the activities maintaining the ability to work as well as the working conditions, working community, worker and work and professional competence and the need to develop them.

Findings

The most problematic factors of occupational wellbeing were the urgency and pace of work at school and the problems in working space, postures and equipment. In addition, the activities supporting resources, including stress control, exercise, relaxation and mentoring, were inadequate at work.

Research limitations

The sample of school staff (n=271) consisted of 12 schools in Eastern Finland, and the results cannot be generalised widely due to the small and geographically defined sample. However, the results are suggestive for other schools elsewhere in Finland.

Practical implications

The content model for the promotion of occupational wellbeing presented in the article and the results obtained provide a broad and practical approach to the development of school staff's occupational wellbeing. Occupational health care services are meant to support school communities, and they should therefore provide better information of their services and develop their competence based on the content model of occupational wellbeing.

Originality/value

The work index form based on the content model serves as a good tool for schools and occupational health care in evaluating and developing occupational wellbeing.

Details

Health Education, vol. 106 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2012

Marjorita Sormunen, Terhi Saaranen, Kerttu Tossavainen and Hannele Turunen

This paper aims to present the process evaluation for a two‐year (2008‐2010) participatory action research project focusing on home‐school partnership in health learning…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the process evaluation for a two‐year (2008‐2010) participatory action research project focusing on home‐school partnership in health learning, undertaken within the Schools for Health in Europe (SHE) in Eastern Finland.

Design/methodology/approach

Two intervention schools and two control schools (grade 5 pupils, parents, and selected school personnel) participated in a study. Process evaluation data were collected from intervention schools after 10 months of participation, by interviewing two classroom teachers and three families. In addition, program documents and relevant statistics were collected from schools during the intervention.

Findings

Teachers' opinions on the development process varied from more concrete expectations (School A teacher) to overall satisfaction to implementation (School B teacher). Parents believed that their children would benefit from the project later in life. The context and differences of the school environments were likely to affect the development process at the school level.

Research limitations/implications

This paper demonstrates a process evaluation in two schools and, therefore, limits the generalizability of the findings.

Practical implications

The process evaluation was an essential part of this intervention study and may provide a useful structure and an example for process evaluation for future school‐based health intervention studies.

Originality/value

This study highlights the importance of planning the process evaluation structure before the start of the intervention, brings out the relevance of systematically assessing the process while it is ongoing, and illustrates process evaluation in an action research project.

Details

Health Education, vol. 112 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2008

Pia Suvivuo, Kerttu Tossavainen and Osmo Kontula

The purpose of this paper is to study in detail what kind of role alcohol has among a selected group of sexually active teenage girls, with special emphasis on their locus

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study in detail what kind of role alcohol has among a selected group of sexually active teenage girls, with special emphasis on their locus of control and risky sexual behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

The data comprise the narratives of 87 girls regarding their experience with sexually motivating situations that involved alcohol. The narratives were analysed with a categorical‐content mode of reading.

Findings

Narratives belonging to the category ”Everything under control” involved self‐directed girls with strong self‐control who remained in control of the sexually motivated situation despite their drunkenness. “Let it go” narratives were characterised by outwardly directed girls with weak self‐control, irrespective of alcohol use. The effect of alcohol was most noticeable in “I both wanted and didn't want” narratives by girls who had shaky and situation‐dependent self‐control. Their ability to control a sexually motivated situation was unstable and considerably affected by alcohol use.

Practical implications

Alcohol use should be taken into account in sex education and vice versa. Sexual issues should be brought up in education concerning substance use. Young girls should be taught to recognise their own feelings and to consider beforehand what they want from their dating relationships. Role playing can be a useful tool in learning how to better handle sexually motivated situations. A feeling of regret can be utilised in health education both in providing knowledge and as a motivation for behavioural reform.

Originality/value

This study provides sophisticated information for comprehension of the conflicting results of earlier surveys, and it suggests that the association between alcohol use and sexual behaviour is affected by the type of self‐control tendency that girls possess.

Details

Health Education, vol. 108 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2012

Teija Räihä, Kerttu Tossavainen, Jorma Enkenberg and Hannele Turunen

The purpose of this study was to investigate the views of school staff on a nutrition health project implemented via an ICT‐based learning environment in a secondary…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the views of school staff on a nutrition health project implemented via an ICT‐based learning environment in a secondary school (7th to 9th grades).

Design/methodology/approach

The study was a part of the wider European Network for Health Promoting Schools programme (ENHPS; since 2008, Schools for Health in Europe SHE) in Finland, and particularly its sub‐project, From Puijo to the World with Health Lunch, which sought to renew secondary schools' nutrition health education by developing and utilising an ICT‐based learning environment using participatory action research. The data were collected by means of recall interviews conducted with 12 teachers, two school health nurses and two school catering managers after the nutrition health project ended. The data were analysed with qualitative content analysis using Atlas.ti software.

Findings

The findings regarding the views of the school staff – teachers, school health nurses and school catering managers – on the nutrition health project implemented via an ICT‐based learning environment at the end of the three‐year educational development project revealed five main categories: the basis of multidisciplinary education in nutrition health, motivation to lifelong nutrition health learning, school community support of nutrition health activities, operational ICT culture in the nutrition health project and ICT for the nutrition health project process.

Research limitations/implications

The sample of school staff consisted of two secondary schools in Eastern Finland, and the results cannot be generalised widely due to the small, geographically defined sample. However, the results are suggestive for other schools elsewhere in Finland.

Originality/value

Development of a nutrition health project via an ICT‐based learning environment as a project involves the entire school staff and all the pupils. It also enables renewing of the nutrition health curriculum. Pupils use ICT in their everyday activities, thus the school staffs have to manage and update their knowledge and skills in ICT and new action environments to promote pupils' nutrition health learning today and in the future.

Details

Health Education, vol. 112 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2004

Kerttu Tossavainen, Hannele Turunen, Sirkka Jakonen, Minna Tupala and Harri Vertio

Describes how school nurses estimated their goal attainment in view of the contents and methods of health counselling and their roles and possibilities as health promoters…

Abstract

Describes how school nurses estimated their goal attainment in view of the contents and methods of health counselling and their roles and possibilities as health promoters in the school community. Data were collected from the school nurses (n=31) of the Finnish European Network of Health‐Promoting schools, using a semi‐structured questionnaire specifically developed for the study. The response rate was 77 per cent (n=24). The results show that the traditional aspects of health counselling were mostly covered well. Counselling on sexual health was partly achieved well, but contraception and the prevention of sexually transmitted disease were less emphasised in school nurses' health counselling. To foster the empowerment of pupils, parents and teachers, there is a need for the school nurse to adopt a more active participatory role as a health promoter in the whole school community.

Details

Health Education, vol. 104 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Annamari Aura, Marjorita Sormunen and Kerttu Tossavainen

The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe adolescents’ health-related behaviours from a socio-ecological perspective. Socio-ecological factors have been widely…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe adolescents’ health-related behaviours from a socio-ecological perspective. Socio-ecological factors have been widely shown to be related to health behaviours (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and diet) in adolescence and to affect health. The review integrates evidence with socio-ecological factors (social relationships, family, peers, schooling and environment).

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected from electronic databases and by manual search consisting of articles (n=90) published during 2002-2014. The selected articles were analysed using inductive content analysis and narrative synthesis.

Findings

The findings suggest that there was a complex set of relations connected to adolescent health behaviours, also encompassing socio-ecological factors. The authors tentatively conclude that socio-ecological circumstances influence adolescents’ health-related behaviour, but that this review does not provide the full picture. There seemed to be certain key factors with a relation to behavioural outcomes that might increase health inequality among adolescents.

Practical implications

School health education is an important pathway for interventions to reduce unhealthy behaviours among adolescents including those related to socio-ecological factors.

Originality/value

Some socio-ecological factors were strongly related to health behaviours in adolescence, which may indicate an important pathway to current and future health. This paper may help schoolteachers, nurses and other school staff to understand the relationships between socio-ecological factors and health-related behaviours, which may be useful in developing health education to reduce health disparities during adolescence.

Details

Health Education, vol. 116 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2007

Ulla Kemppainen, Kerttu Tossavainen, Erkki Vartiainen, Pekka Puska, Veikko Jokela, Vladimir Pantelejev and Mihail Uhanov

The purpose of the paper is to show that a syndrome of problem behaviours, i.e. early substance abuse, school and family problems and sexual promiscuity impairs normal…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to show that a syndrome of problem behaviours, i.e. early substance abuse, school and family problems and sexual promiscuity impairs normal development in adolescence. This comparative study looked for differences in the problem behaviour profiles of 15‐year‐old adolescents in the Pitkäranta district in Russia and in eastern Finland, in order to develop more effective strategies for adolescents' health promotion.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from the Russian Pitkäranta Youth Study (n=385) and the Finnish North Karelia Youth Study (n=2098) were used. A K‐means clustering algorithm was used to identify homogenous groups of adolescents based on variation in selected health behaviour variables.

Findings

The paper finds that four different profiles including the variables of current smoking, first smoking experiments, first drinking experiments, experiences of drunkenness and sexual experiences were identified. The identified profiles, titled “Non‐ or late experimenters”, “Middle experimenters”, “Early experimenters” and “Child experimenters”, were found to be distinct across gender, country and other external variables. Adolescents more often in Pitkäranta than in eastern Finland belonged to “Non‐ or late experimenters” of minimal risk‐taking behaviours. Unhealthy dietary habits, use of illegal drugs, psychosomatic disorders and problems with parents were more common among “Early experimenters” and Child experimenters”. These findings added to the evidence of grouping of problem behaviours.

Research limitations/implications

The paper shows that there is a need to develop and implement tailored and coordinated health promotion programs for specific target groups of adolescents. Obviously, adolescents with a high level of risk‐taking behaviours would benefit from programs that acknowledge their cultural expectations in their everyday life contexts.

Practical implications

This paper describes a cross‐sectional comparison of health surveys among adolescents in two countries. It will be interesting to carry out a follow‐up survey in, for example, ten years to see how health issues have changed, especially among Russian adolescents, of whom there is not much research available.

Originality/value

Cluster analysis was a useful method in identifying adolescents' problem behaviours in a cross‐cultural study.

Details

Health Education, vol. 107 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

Keywords

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