Little empirical knowledge exists regarding children's perceptions of health. The purpose of this quantitative descriptive study was to determine the health perceptions of children with a convenience sample of fourth-grade students at a small elementary school in Northeast Mississippi. The theoretical framework utilized was Bandura's Social Learning Theory. The directional hypothesis in the proposed study was school-age children have a positive perception of health. The Children's Health Rating Scale was utilized as a measurement tool that ranked 17 health-related questions on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = most negative, 5 = most positive). A high cumulative score indicated a positive perception of health, and a low cumulative score indicated a negative perception of health. The researcher collected data during regular school hours at a time agreed upon by the teachers and the researcher. These data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Participants in the study indicated a positive health perception overall as 1 1 1 evidenced by greater than 60% of the participants had a score of 61 or greater. Additional findings indicated some items on the questionnaire were ranked more positively or more negatively than the majority of the 17 items. Questions requiring abstract concepts about the individual participant's future health presented a significant number of "Don't know" responses. Gender also presented statistical variances in positive and negative responses. A conclusion from the study was that the sample group had a positive perception of health. Further research is necessary to strengthen the findings of this study and determine children's health perceptions in order to provide appropriate education regarding health for this age group.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Dr. Lynn Chilton
Forrest, Amy, "Children'S Health Perceptions" (1999). MSN Research Projects. 128.