Background Studies exploring adolescents’ perception of health are still scarce in the international litera- ture. Through a qualitative analysis, this study aims to explore the core categories or themes evoked when adolescents describe what it means to be healthy and unhealthy. Methods A convenience purposive sample of 34 15-year-old students from three different upper sec- ondary schools took part in a 2-hour group discussion session. During the session, two con- ceptual projective techniques, the collage creation and the think-aloud technique, were used to elicit perceptions and descriptions of the typical healthy and unhealthy adolescent. Perceptions and descriptions voiced by adolescents were analysed through content analy- sis, and the key concepts that emerged were grouped so that core categories or themes could be identified. Results The analysis revealed five core categories that adolescents used to describe what being healthy or unhealthy meant to them: physical appearance, personal commitment and goals, possessions and space, use of free time, and social belonging. Conclusions Instead of those approaches that focuses solely on the avoidance of risk, the identified core categories or themes might be the basics around which health promotion programmes in adolescence should be built. Engaging students in planning for their future and assisting them in mapping out crucial steps to meet their personal goals, including life, academic, and career goals, is a suitable way to address issues that are meaningful to adolescent health.

“What being healthy means to me”: A qualitative analysis uncovering the core categories of adolescents’ perception of health

Borraccino, Alberto
First
;
Pera, Rebecca;Lemma, Patrizia
Last
2019-01-01

Abstract

Background Studies exploring adolescents’ perception of health are still scarce in the international litera- ture. Through a qualitative analysis, this study aims to explore the core categories or themes evoked when adolescents describe what it means to be healthy and unhealthy. Methods A convenience purposive sample of 34 15-year-old students from three different upper sec- ondary schools took part in a 2-hour group discussion session. During the session, two con- ceptual projective techniques, the collage creation and the think-aloud technique, were used to elicit perceptions and descriptions of the typical healthy and unhealthy adolescent. Perceptions and descriptions voiced by adolescents were analysed through content analy- sis, and the key concepts that emerged were grouped so that core categories or themes could be identified. Results The analysis revealed five core categories that adolescents used to describe what being healthy or unhealthy meant to them: physical appearance, personal commitment and goals, possessions and space, use of free time, and social belonging. Conclusions Instead of those approaches that focuses solely on the avoidance of risk, the identified core categories or themes might be the basics around which health promotion programmes in adolescence should be built. Engaging students in planning for their future and assisting them in mapping out crucial steps to meet their personal goals, including life, academic, and career goals, is a suitable way to address issues that are meaningful to adolescent health.
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https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218727
adolescents' health, qualitative study, conceptual projective techniques
Borraccino, Alberto; Pera, Rebecca; Lemma, Patrizia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1704944
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