Perceived Health Knowledge and Health Education Needs Associated with Child Health Behaviors : A Survey of Some Elementary School Students in Seoul

  • Jung, Sang-Hyuk (Department of Preventive Medicine, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Park, Kyoung-Ok (Department of Health Education, Ewha Womans University)
  • Published : 2005.09.30

Abstract

Objectives: This study was conducted to describe child perceived health knowledge, health education needs, and health behaviors by sex as a representative general characteristic and examined their associations for students' better health behavior changes. Methods: The survey participants were 410 fourth to sixth grade students in two elementary schools in Seoul, Korea. A total of 12 classes in two elementary schools were randomly selected and all students of the selected classes participated in the self-administered survey. The questionnaire contained the items of perceived health knowledge, health education needs (health topics which they want to know more), health behavior, and general characteristics. Results: Perceived health knowledge, health education needs, and health behaviors were, generally, better among girls than boys. Sexual differences were not large in perceived health knowledge, health education needs, health behaviors. Perceived health knowledge had significant positive correlation with health behaviors both in boys and girls(p <.01). The correlation between perceived health knowledge and health behaviors(r =.36) was two fold greater than correlation between health education needs and health behaviors(r =.18) among boys; where as the two correlations were similar to each other among girls. The significant factors were perceived health knowledge, sex, grade, and health education needs in order, and the four factors described health behaviors in 21.0%. The higher perceived health knowledge, girls, lower grade, and more health education needs was associated with the better health behaviors. Conclusions: There was significant sexual difference of the relationship between health knowledge, health education needs, and health behaviors among children. Perceived health knowledge was more important factor to improve health behaviors among boys while perceived health knowledge and health education needs had equal importance on health behaviors among girls. Therefore, knowledge building should be an essential part of health education class goals for building better health behaviors.

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