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What is health and what is important for its achievement?: A qualitative study on adolescent boys’ perceptions and experiences of health
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0106-2839
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Caring Science/Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4013-1553
2016 (English)In: Open Nursing Journal, ISSN 1874-4346, E-ISSN 1874-4346, Vol. 10, 26-35 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Few qualitative studies have explored adolescent boys’ perceptions of health.

Aim: The aim of this study was therefore to explore how adolescent boys understand the concept of health and what they find important for its achievement

Methods: Grounded theory was used as a method to analyse interviews with 33 adolescent boys aged 16 to 17 years attending three upper secondary schools in a relatively small town in Sweden.

Results: There was a complexity in how health was perceived, experienced, dealt with, and valued. Although health on a conceptual level was described as ‘holistic’, health was experienced and dealt with in a more dualistic manner, one in which the boys were prone to differentiate between mind and body. Health was experienced as mainly emotional and relational, whereas the body had a subordinate value. The presence of positive emotions, experiencing self-esteem, balance in life, trustful relationships, and having a sense of belonging were important factors for health while the body was experienced as a tool to achieve health, as energy, and as a condition.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that young, masculine health is largely experienced through emotions and relationships and thus support theories on health as a social construction of interconnected processes. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 10, 26-35 p.
Keyword [en]
Adolescence, Boys, Grounded theory, Health, Qualitative, Well-being
National Category
Health Sciences
Research subject
Health and Welfare
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-21783DOI: 10.2174/1874434601610010026PubMedID: 27347252ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84971668186OAI: diva2:939814
Available from: 2016-06-20 Created: 2016-06-20 Last updated: 2016-07-01Bibliographically approved

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