Objective: Adolescents assume increased responsibility for their health, particularly regarding health decision-making for lifestyle behaviors. Prior research suggests a relationship between health literacy (HL) and health behaviors in adolescents. Yet, the specific role of HL
in adolescents' health decision-making is unclear. This study qualitatively explored adolescents' use of HL in their health decision-making. Methods: Six focus groups with adolescents (N = 37, Mage = 16.49, 86% girls) were conducted. Adolescents' responses to questions about
their HL use were coded using thematic analysis. Results: Adolescents identified passive and active HL engagement and several individual (eg, future orientation, risk perception) and environmental (eg, access to resources/information, media) factors that influenced their use of HL in
health decision-making. Feedback from others, subjective health, and ability to navigate multiple sources of information also determined adolescents' confidence in their HL skills. Conclusions: Our results support expanding the types of HL studied/measured in adolescents and provide
insight on how HL can be leveraged to improve adolescents' health decision-making. Though there was no guiding theory for this study, results support using the Information-Motivation-Behavior Skills model to assess the HL/health decision-making relationship in adolescence.
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INFORMATION-MOTIVATION-BEHAVIORAL SKILLS MODEL;
Document Type: Research Article
Sasha A. Fleary, Evans Family Assistant Professor, Tufts University, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, Medford MA;, Email: [email protected]
Patrece Joseph, Graduate Research Assistant, Tufts University, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, Medford MA
July 1, 2020
More about this publication?
The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.
The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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