Children's Understanding of Biology and Health

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This book provides the first state-of-the-art examination of children's understanding of biology and health. Authors based in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia review and evaluate children's understanding of birth, life and death, their knowledge of contamination and contagion as well as processes related to food, digestion, and pain. The chapters tightly focus on the connection between research and practice in examining the implications for communication about diseases such as HIV and for children's medical and therapeutic decision-making.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This text offers an important addition to the literature on children's concepts of health, illness, and their internal bodies, and a valuable international perspective on many of the contemporary issues in the field. It is particularly welcome at a time when government initiatives are seeking to convey important health promotion messages to increasingly younger age groups of children." —Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

"...provides a rich empirical database of topics with great theoretical and practical significance...fascinating, entertaining, and at times sobering... Human Development

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Michael Siegal and Candida Peterson; Part I. Development of Biological Understanding: 2. Young children's understanding of mind-body relationships Kayako Inagaki and Giyoo Hatano; 3. How a naive theory of biology is acquired Ken Springer; 4. Constructing a coherent theory; children's biological understanding of life and death Virginia Slaughter, Raquel Jaakkola and Susan Carey; Part II. Health Issues: 5. What young children's understanding of contamination and contagion tells us about their concepts of illness Charles W. Kalish; 6. Children and pain John E. Taplin, Belinda Goodenough, Joan R. Webb and Laura Vogl; 7. Children and food Leann Birch, Jennifer Fischer and Karen Grimm-Thomas; 8. The ethics of emaciation: moral connotations of body, self and diet Carol J. Nemeroff and Carolyn J. Cavanaugh; Part III. Applications: 9. Considering children's folkbiology in health education Terry Kit-fong Au, Laura F. Romo and Jennifer E. Dewitt; 10. Young children's understanding of the physician's role and the medical hearsay exception Melody R. Herbst, Margaret S. Steward, Robin L. Hansen and John E. B. Myers; 11. Cognitive development and the competence to consent to medical and psychotherapeutic treatment Candida C. Peterson and Michael Siegal.

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