Communicating Oncofertility to Children: A Developmental Perspective for Teaching Health Messages



Communicating basic health information to children is often a difficult task. It can be particularly challenging with young children, as they know very little about their bodies and struggle to comprehend abstract or hypothetical reasoning. As children get older, they know more about their bodies and health, but talking about complex medical issues and health remains difficult. As oncofertility is a new field that lies at the intersection of oncology and fertility, communicating oncofertility information to children requires not only clear, developmentally appropriate explanations of both health- and medicine-related to cancer but also the discussion of sexuality, fertility, and reproduction. In this chapter, we provide a developmental perspective about what children already know about their bodies and reproductive systems, background on how media is used to communicate health messages to children, and recommendations for how oncofertility experts can use media to educate young audiences.


Sexual Health Health Message Emergency Contraception Instructional Video Military Family 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Oncofertility Consortium NIH 5UL1DE019587 and the Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Reproduction and Infertility Research NIH U54HD076188.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of CommunicationNorthwestern University (not the hospital)EvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Communication StudiesNorthwestern University (not the hospital)EvanstonUSA

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