Public libraries as settings for the development of critical health literacy in children.
Jenkins, C. (2023). Public libraries as settings for the development of critical health literacy in children. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Allied and Community Health https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.94045
Health literacy enables people to access, understand, appraise, remember and use information about health. Critical health literacy is a domain of health literacy and enables individuals and communities to engage in social and political processes for action on the determinants of health. Promoting critical health literacy early in the life course may contribute to improved health outcomes in the long term. Yet children’s opportunities to develop critical health literacy are limited and tend to be school based. There are recognised barriers to implementing critical health literacy interventions in schools. The aim of this study is to broaden the range of settings based approaches available by exploring the potential role of public libraries as community-based supportive environments for children’s critical health literacy.
The study was designed in consultation with a Children’s Advisory Group of eight children. The setting is a public library system in England. The theoretical and methodological framework is institutional ethnography. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 children, and semi-structured text-elicitation interviews were conducted with 19 public library staff and community stakeholders. The data were analysed through the lens of a conceptual model based on the literature. The model provided an organising framework for the data and informed a keywords approach to analysis.
The findings show that texts produced by the public library sector refer to health literacy support for local communities as part of the public library service offer, but the library was not perceived as a setting for health, and schools influence the health literacy development opportunities available for children there. Critical health literacy was seen as beyond the remit of the library, although one activity promoting critical health literacy was identified. This activity acknowledged the wider determinants of health, was accessible to children, involved children in how it was
The study advances the theory and application of a supersetting approach to the development of critical health literacy in children and highlights the possibilities of
|Keywords||critical health literacy; children’s health literacy; settings-based approach; supersetting approach|
|Publisher||London South Bank University|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.94045|
File Access Level
|17 May 2023|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||23 May 2023|
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