ERIC Number: ED362308
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Explanations of the Causes of Wellness, Illness, and Injury.
Phillips, G. M.; And Others
This study examined children's explanatory style for health- and safety-related events. Fifty children (ages 8 to 11) were interviewed using 12 health-related questions based on Seligman's Content Analysis of Verbatim Explanations (CAVE) method. Children and their mothers also completed a health status form, which included questions on the children's past and current health. Children's causal statements were evaluated on four dimensions: stability (whether events occur because of stable or unstable causes), globality (whether causes have global effects or influence only that specific event), internality (whether causes are external or internal to the person), and controllability (whether the cause of an event is controllable). Results suggested individual differences in children's explanations of health events, with profiles ranging along the four dimensions. Children consistently demonstrated an adaptive, optimistic explanatory style when explaining good health events. When explaining the cause of bad health events, children focused on internality and global causes, which reflects a maladaptive explanatory style; however, they also focused on uncontrollability, which reflects an adaptive explanatory style. Results suggest that children are more proficient at processing good events; bad events are apparently more confusing to process and result in inconsistency. (MM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Causal Inferences; Causal Reasoning; Explanations; Health Attitudes
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (60th, New Orleans, LA, March 25-28, 1993).