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ERIC Number: EJ1044028
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1088-8691
Development and Coherence of Beliefs Regarding Disease Causality and Prevention
Sigelman, Carol K.
Applied Developmental Science, v18 n4 p201-213 2014
Guided by a naïve theories perspective on the development of thinking about disease, this study of 188 children aged 6 to 18 examined knowledge of HIV/AIDS causality and prevention using parallel measures derived from open-ended and structured interviews. Knowledge of both risk factors and prevention rules, as well as conceptual understanding of AIDS causality, increased with age. Younger children displayed more advanced knowledge in response to structured questions than in response to open-ended questions. Contrary to hypothesis, knowledge of causality was not more advanced than knowledge of prevention in elementary school. Moreover, correlations between the two types of knowledge were often nonsignificant except when the same method was used to assess both. Thus, methodology matters in assessing children's knowledge of disease, children's intuitive thinking is not consistently coherent, and it may be safest to educate children explicitly about sound prevention rules rather than assume they will infer the rules themselves from information about a disease's causes.
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: HD27472