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Health behaviours, risk-taking and conceptual changes among schoolchildren aged 7 to 19 years in semi-rural Sweden
Primary Care Research Unit, County Council of Värmland, Karlstad.
Department of Research and Public Health, County Council of Värmland, Torsby.
Primary Care Research Unit, County Council of Värmland, Karlstad.
2008 (English)In: Child Care Health and Development, ISSN 0305-1862, E-ISSN 1365-2214, Vol. 34, no 3, 302-309 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background This study covers a broad age group (7–19 years) and includes a wide range of themes. The aim is to describe how various behaviours, complaints and conceptual changes come into play and to discuss the factors that might support or hamper the happiness and well-being of growing children and adolescents. We also discuss the implications of our findings for future prevention programmes. Methods This cross-sectional study included all schoolchildren in a semi-rural district in Sweden (2181 pupils). A structured classroom questionnaire was used but the children were also given the opportunity to describe in their own words what was important for their happiness and well-being. Results Mean response rate was 85%. Most changes in behaviour occurred between 11 and 14 years of age. Girls had a more rapid process of change than boys. Both girls and boys experienced stress in their relations with peers, parents and teachers. Gender differences in emotional support were prominent. Regardless of age and sex, all schoolchildren asked for a richer choice of leisure time activities, a place where they could meet with friends and caring teachers, parents and adults in the surrounding community. Conclusions Adolescence was perceived as a risky and problematic period not only by adults but also by the adolescents themselves. However, the perceived risks and the worries differed. While the adults mainly worried about the early onset of smoking and drug use, the schoolchildren worried about their social situation and their personal relationships. After decades of preventive programmes in Swedish schools, only modest results are seen. To be effective, future preventive programmes probably have to focus more on the conceptual world of the growing child.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 34, no 3, 302-309 p.
Keyword [en]
Health Behaviour Risk-taking Conceptual Changes School Children Semi-rural Sweden
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-19921DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2008.00836.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-19921DiVA: diva2:593573
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-11-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
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