155 research outputs found

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

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    BackgroundStudies exploring adolescents' perception of health are still scarce in the international literature. 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.MethodsA convenience purposive sample of 34 15-year-old students from three different upper secondary schools took part in a 2-hour group discussion session. During the session, two conceptual 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 analysis, and the key concepts that emerged were grouped so that core categories or themes could be identified.ResultsThe 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.ConclusionsInstead 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

    Vulnerability and Social Exclusion: Risk in Adolescence and Old Age

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    Vulnerability can be defined as the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. In this chapter, it is defined as a possible ability of an individual or a group to face, manage, and anticipate a possible problem. This concept of vulnerability is associated with that of risk factor for social isolation, and therefore to situations that can also lead to illness and lack of mental and physical health. It can have its roots in poverty, in social exclusion, in ethnicity, in disability or simply in disease or specific developmental phases in life. All these aspects reflect very important vulnerability factors among biological, psychological, social, and behavioral variables. To date, no one has highlighted together two critical moments in life in which this brain area undergoes important variations: adolescence, in which its development occurs, and old age, in which this area goes into cognitive decline with the relative loss of many higher cognitive functions. This knowledge can help to better understand the forms of exclusion due to vulnerability in order to develop new forms of social inclusion
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