ERIC Number: ED369018
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Causal Attributions for Health and Illness: A Cross-Cultural Contribution.
Researchers investigated the causal attributions for health and illness among 96 Brazilian elementary school students. Subjects were interviewed individually and their causal attributions were assessed through 14 true-false items (e.g. people stay well because they are lucky). The findings suggest that there may be more cross-cultural similarities than differences in children's causal perceptions for health and illness. Younger and low socio-economic scale subjects' beliefs in the uncontrollable and immanent-justice type of attributions (e.g. luck and disobedience) is consistent with age and cognitive development research in this area. Taking care of one's self was considered the most important cause of health, while virus/germs and lack of self care were the most selected causes of illness. Chi-Square analyses revealed some significant age, gender, and socio-economic status related differences in the selection of causal attributes. Children should be made aware of the importance that self care plays in health but health professionals should not overemphasize the lack of self care in illness so as to help children develop a more realistic and less "blame the victim" view of sickness. (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Brazil (Rio de Janeiro)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (101st, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 20-24, 1993). For a related document, see CG 025 367.