J Nurs Acad Soc.  1996 Jun;26(2):443-466.

A Study on Health promoting behaviors for children


Young children need continuous care and fostering by their family. They help children organize and develop their potential and grow to be and integrated individuals. Children are influenced by then family at first and continuously when they grow up and develop their capability. Especially, mothers spend a lot of time with time to their children, encourage children's growth, give advice, and do their best to take care of their children. The ethnograpic study is to understand the patterns and rules of human behaviors. This study utilized this method in order to interpret the maternal health promoting behaviors for their children. The data were collected through the participant observation and direct interview for about 18 months in P city. The participants were 7 mothers, from 32 to 37 years old. They have children of ages 3 to 10 and 1 or 2 children in total. The data were analyzed through the Spradley's Ethnograghic method and the results were summarized as follows: The viewpoints which influence maternal health promoting behaviors include "having childlike appearance", "having childlike character", "living without illness", and "eating well". The maternal health promoting behaviors for children are classified as "adapting to nature", "supporting of ability", "sharing with the family", "training", and "praying". The adapting behaviors include "recognizing child's innate character", "controlling maternal desires", "preparing natural food", which includes breast feeding. The supporting behaviors include "recognizing childlikeness", "empowering", and "restricting certain actions to preventing accidents". In order to promote child's health, it is essential to promote mother's health first of all. The sharing with the family includes "promoting family concord or acquaintanceships concord" and "adapting to circumstances beyond family". The training behaviors include "forming good habits" and "having good moral value". It is very important to form good habits in childhood. The praying behavior include "waiting for opportunities" and "endeavoring activity to promote child's health". The above 5 behaviors by mothers appeared to be able to promote children's health. The results of this study can be utilized to provide the basic information necessary to develop the patterns of maternal health promoting behaviors consistent with our culture and can contribute us develop the body of knowledge about the maternal health promotion for children in nursing.

MeSH Terms

Breast Feeding
Foster Home Care
Maternal Health
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