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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 92, Issue 5, pp 335–339 | Cite as

Young Parents’ Understanding and Actions Related to the Determinants of Health

  • Linda I. ReutterEmail author
  • Diane N. Dennis
  • Douglas R. Wilson
Article

Abstract

Broad health determinants are accepted as key contributors to health; however, little is known about the public’s understanding of these determinants. We describe the results of a survey of young parents (18–30 years) in Alberta regarding their understanding of determinants of health, and their actions (planned or undertaken) in promoting wellbeing and health for themselves, their families, and their communities. A telephone survey of young parents (N=652) was conducted, using both open-ended and fixed response questions. In the open-ended responses, social support networks (46%) and personal health practices (40%) were most often cited as contributors to family well-being and health and as current actions (62% and 54% respectively). Health services were rarely mentioned as a contributor. Most frequently mentioned barriers to well-being and health related to income (36%) and coping skills (34%). Sub-sample differences by gender, age, income, and residence were detected. Fixed response questions indicated that parents rated a broad range of health determinants as “very important.”

Résumé

On considère les déterminants généraux de la santé comme des facteurs de santé clés; cependant, on en sait peu sur la compréhension de ces déterminants par le public. Voici les résultats d’un sondage auprès de jeunes parents albertains (18 à 30 ans) portant sur leur compréhension des déterminants de la santé et sur les mesures qu’ils prennent ou comptent prendre pour promouvoir leur bien-être et leur santé et ceux de leur famille et de leur communauté. Nous avons administré à de jeunes parents (n=652) un sondage téléphonique comportant des questions ouvertes et fermées. Dans les réponses aux questions ouvertes, les réseaux de soutien social (46 %) et les habitudes de santé personnelles (40 %) sont le plus souvent ressortis comme contribuant au bien-être et à la santé familiale et comme mesures déjà employées (62 % et 54 % respectivement). Les services de santé ont rarement été mentionnés à ce titre. Les obstacles au bien-être et à la santé les plus fréquemment mentionnés avaient trait au revenu (36 %) et aux habiletés d’adaptation (34 %). Nous avons relevé des différences dans les sous-échantillons selon le sexe, l’âge, le revenu et le domicile. Dans leurs réponses aux questions fermées, les parents ont qualifié de «très importants» une vaste gamme de déterminants de la santé.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda I. Reutter
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Diane N. Dennis
    • 3
  • Douglas R. Wilson
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of NursingUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Health Promotion StudiesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Population Research Laboratory, Department of SociologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.Department of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and DentistryUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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