What is it about?

This article seeks to highlight contemporary issues and discussions related to the “health journey” of young people, and how health education interventions may be best applied in light of these.

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Why is it important?

Many health education interventions involving young people target emotive issues such as illicit drug‐taking or sexual promiscuity and are often aimed at reducing the prevalence of health‐damaging behaviours primarily through the provision of health‐related information. It is well known and accepted by many, however, that “limited” health education methods are often ineffective, and may lead to more problems than they resolve. This is particularly so where the interventions seek to deny the individual the health‐related experiences that may serve as an integral part of that person's “health journey”. Recently emerging literature highlights counter‐behaviours initiated by young people, in defiance of any imposed health education intervention.

Perspectives

Where health educators do intervene, it is recommended that this is as an adjunct to assisting the individual in their attempts to enjoy as safe a health journey as possible – and not merely to deny the journey.

Dr Dean Whitehead
Flinders University

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This page is a summary of: In pursuit of pleasure: health education as a means of facilitating the “health journey” of young people, Health Education, June 2005, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/09654280510595272.
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