Date of Award

Spring 1990

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Hennessey, Jean

Second Advisor

Brown, Ardene

Third Advisor

Kowatsch, Judy

Abstract

A descriptive study was conducted of fifty children in grades four and six to increase understanding of children's belief about health. Data were collected in the school classrooms using tow instruments: 1) The Parcel-Meyer Children's Health Locus of Control Scale (CHLC), and 2) a health questionnaire consisting of three open-ended questions in which children described their feelings about health. Responses were tabulated by frequency and assigned to categories. Children's responses about health were found to be consistent with steps outlined by Piaget. Health had personal meaning for all the children, indicated by descriptive terms used to state how it feels to be healthy and not healthy. Both fourth and sixth grade children conceptualized health as a positive feeling state which enabled them to do desired things. Some differences were seen between fourth and sixth grade groups. The sixth graders expressed more understanding of physiological functions than fourth graders, and sixth graders had a more internally directed locus of control.

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