A Comparison of Views of School Nurses, Teachers, and Middle-School Students Regarding Health Information Interests and Concerns

Authors

  • Phyllis M. Levenson,

    Corresponding author
    1. Dr PH, Assistant Professor, College of Education, University of Houston-University Park
      Address correspondence to: Phyllis M. Levenson, DrPH, Department of HPER, College of Education, University of Houston-University Park, Houston, Texas 77004. Telephone (713) 749-4386.
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  • James R. Morrow Jr.,

    1. PhD, Associate Professor, College of Education, University of Houston-University Park
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  • Elizabeth K. Gregory,

    1. KN, MEd, Consultant, Harris County, Texas, Department of Education
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  • Betty J. Pfefferbaum

    1. MD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Director, Division of Child Psychiatry, University of Texas Medical School
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Address correspondence to: Phyllis M. Levenson, DrPH, Department of HPER, College of Education, University of Houston-University Park, Houston, Texas 77004. Telephone (713) 749-4386.

Abstract

To foster collaborative efforts to address adolescent health information needs, this study compared the views of 600 middle-school students, 70 school nurses, and 71 teachers. A questionnaire determined the relative importance of items in seven subscales pertaining to smoking, diet and weight control, physical fitness, and four general health concerns. Students rated the importance of their knowing about scale items. Adults rated how much importance they thought students would attach to items and how important they thought it was for students to know about the items. Omnibus F tests were significant (P < 0.001), indicating adults did not accurately judge the importance students placed on scales, and that adults and students attached different importance to scales. Post hoc Helmert contrasts indicated that, while students differed from adults (P < 0.001), nurses and teachers did not differ significantly from each other. Univariate analyses of adult-student responses indicated differences in responses to all scales (P < 0.03). Adults consistently underestimated the importance adolescents attached to all scales except peer opinion (adults thought students would place more importance on peer opinion than was the case). Adults attributed significantly more importance to each scale (P < 0.01) than students. Items most frequently rated very important by each group are identified. Implications of results for promoting health among adolescents are discussed.

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