Children’s Perspectives on Health: What Makes Children Feel Good According to Themselves?

Ebba Kostmann, Lena Nilsson


The object of this study is to examine children’s perspectives on health and what elements make them feel good. Health promoting contributions rarely emanate from children’s perspectives but most often from a child perspective, what adults consider children need in order to feel well. There are relatively few studies made from children’s viewpoints on health - children should be made more involved in the shaping of health interventions. The study was carried out at two nine-year compulsory schools in Western Sweden, 78 pupils aged 9 through 11years participated. To collect the material interviews was the principal source, and the result is mainly supported by an analysis of the contents from 52 interviews. What the children declared to be the most important element for health were relations. This circumstance was stated in 88 percent of the interviews, and it was in substance the relations to family and friends that were brought up. A condition to lift children’s perspectives is that they are taken seriously, that their part-taking leads to influence and a real utilization of their opinions. A conclusion from this study is that activities that handle health for children and young people should consider children’s perspectives: partly through focusing the work on promoting children’s social and familial relations, and partly to let the children participate more in the final shape of contents and working methods.

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