Social identities and psycho-social needs in adolescents’ health literate practices




Cimon, Mimi

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Adolescent perspectives on health and the social and literate values of their health related behaviours require exploration and examination in health literacy, as knowledge gaps related to the constituents of health literate practices, and the functions and acquisition of health literacy exist in the literature. Research addressing this was approached based on socio-cultural and socio-ecological principles using a collective instrumental case design. Participants were new adolescent mother aged 15-18 recruited from 4 different community/education programs around Victoria, BC. Data was collected over a four month period, and consisted of individual and focus group interviews, journals, and researchers’ observations and field notes. Findings show that participants’ health behaviours changed significantly in tandem with their identities, the groups they associated with, and the social contexts they moved within. Findings indicate that identity, informal social environments, and unconscious cognitive process and psychosocial needs play a role in adolescents health literacy and literate practices.



Health literacy, Adolescent health, Socio-cultural, Socio-ecological, Critical literacy, Adolescent mothers, Adolescent health behaviours, literate status, empowerment, critical media literacy, health education, problem behaviours, transitioning identity, social identities, out of school literacies, unconscious cognitive processes, mainstream values, multiple literacies, health promotion