Effect of Health Promotion Education on Presence of Positive Health Behaviors, Level of Anxiety and Self-Concept

By Bektas, Murat; Ozturk, Candan | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, June 2008 | Go to article overview

Effect of Health Promotion Education on Presence of Positive Health Behaviors, Level of Anxiety and Self-Concept


Bektas, Murat, Ozturk, Candan, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


This experimental study was aimed at examining the effect of health promotion education on the presence of healthy behaviors, self-concept and level of anxiety in primary-school-age children. A total of 120 students were given one lesson a week for 10 weeks. Data collection tools used in the study were the Positive Health Behaviors Scale (Hester, 1984), the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale (Piers & Harris, 1969), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, 1973). The health promotion education given to the children was found to have a significant effect on their healthy behaviors and state-trait anxiety level but not on their self-concept.

Keywords: positive health behaviors, state-trait anxiety, self-concept, health development, school health nursing.

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The school is an important area for health promotion and instilling positive health behaviors. These can be taught to individuals in health development programs. Health promotion has been defined as all of the individual and community-wide strategies that include communication, education, legal regulations, changes in service organizations and public development to increase individuals' control over their own health and to improve their health (Edelman & Mandle, 1998; Ewles & Simnett, 1999; Gochman, 1988; Hill & Smith, 1990; Kemm & Close, 1995; Pender & Barkauskas, 1992; Selekman, 2006). Two important concepts which have an effect on the development of positive health behaviors are anxiety and self-concept. Different levels of anxiety are experienced in childhood and this anxiety lays the foundation for anxiety disorders in adulthood. A high level of anxiety has a negative effect on the development of positive health behaviors, decreases children's academic performance and can lead to the development of a negative self-concept (Danielson, 1984; Martin & Greenwood, 2000; Omizo & Omizo, 1992; Ozer, 2000). The self-concept of school-age children is also affected when children have constant anxiety and do not acquire positive health behaviors. During this period of time, the nurse and school health team can have a positive effect on both the children's development of healthy behavior, and the development of their perception that they are in control of these behaviors. The health behaviors of a child who has not developed a positive self-concept will also be affected (Aral, Baran, Bulut, & (Cimen, 2001; Edelman & Mandle, 1998; Gungor, 1993; Selekman, 2006).

Healthy or unhealthy lifestyles are developed early in life and thereafter are very difficult to change. Adults who do not have healthy and balanced lifestyles are not good role models for children. For this reason it is very important for children to be taught how to live healthy lives during their formal schooling (Edelman & Mandle, 1998; Fleming, 1979; Kemn & Close, 1995; Selekman, 2006). Health promotion education in schools has an important place in children's acquisition of positive behaviors that will protect their health because this can help them to assume responsibility for their own health and develop healthy lifestyles, and ultimately can facilitate the development of healthy behaviors in the entire community (Edelman & Mandle, 1998; Selekman, 2006; Whitehead, 2006).

School-age children comprise a significant percentage of the population in Turkey and many do not benefit from health promotion services because of a lack of both school health nursing and an ongoing health education program. This situation has made it necessary to study positive health behaviors, self-concept and anxiety in Turkish school-age children and to evaluate the results.

The research hypotheses tested in this study were:

1: The mean score for positive health behaviors in the experimental group will be higher than the mean score for positive health behaviors in the control group.

2: The mean score for anxiety will be lower in the experimental group than in the control group. …

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