Open Access Dissertation
Health education--Research; Health behavior--Research; Family records;
The purposes of this study were to describe how the construction of a multigeneration family health history affected health-related knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and intentions of postsecondary students enrolled in a personal health course; and to determine pedagogical effects of utilizing a multigeneration family health history construction project within that context. This study connects constructivist theory with authentic learning and health education outcomes to better understand what knowledge is important and what instructional methods enhance development of knowledge.
Research questions shaping this investigation included:
- How does the process of constructing a multigeneration family health history influence health-related knowledge?
- How does the knowledge gained from constructing a multigeneration family health history influence learner's health-related attitudes?
- What sorts of actions or intentions to act result from participating in a multigeneration family health history construction project?
- How does the experience of constructing a multigeneration family health history affect perceptions and attitudes about health education?
A statistically nonrepresentative stratified sampling strategy supported selection of four diverse research participants. Multiple data sources and multiple analysis methods characterized the constant comparative processes leading to grounded theory.
Several plausible relationships emerged. The credibility of the multigeneration family health history construction project as an authentic learning strategy was established. Health-related knowledge construction related directly to attitude adjustment and to behavior adoption.
The relationships established among these outcomes suggests meaningful knowledge relates to active manipulation of medical and environmental data perceived to have personal value. Perceived value of the data influenced individually constructed definitions of incidence, prevalence, and relative risk. Perception of risk positively influenced identification and adoption of health-related intentions and behaviors for the research participants and their others.
The connections established between health-related knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and intentions supports the use of this learning strategy in a personal health course. The information gained from constructing the family health history increased the value of the health education process. The indigenous information resulting from constructing a family health history is priceless and irreplaceable; the action of constructing a multigeneration family medical history represents a set of transferable life skills.
Year of Submission
Doctor of Education
School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services
Joane W. McKay, Chair
1 PDF file (ix, 331 pages)
©1997 Ragene Dalton Gwin
Gwin, Ragene Dalton, "Constructing family health histories: Connecting theory and practice in the health education classroom" (1997). Dissertations and Theses @ UNI. 777.