Healthy Girls and Healthy Communities: Two Sides of the Same Coin?
- *Corresponding Author:
- Lisa M Vaughn
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
College of Medicine/ Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
University of Cincinnati, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: February 11, 2014; Accepted date: March 10, 2014; Published date: March 13, 2014
Citation: Vaughn LM, Drabik S, Kissling A (2014) Healthy Girls and Healthy Communities: Two Sides of the Same Coin? J Community Med Health Educ 4:279. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000279
Copyright: © 2014 Vaughn LM, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Lacking is research on girls’ health particularly within the context of the community and larger societal influences. The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes of girls and community residents about what makes a girl healthy and what places girls’ health at risk. Sixty-six adolescent girls and boys, their parents, senior citizens, educators, and community leaders in business, government, safety and health participated in group interviews. Interviews were coded and analyzed using a standard qualitative approach based on grounded theory and constant comparative method. Two primary themes emerged from the interviews: 1) a complete and holistic view of girls’ health that includes physical, mental, and emotional health; and 2) the importance of girls having positive role models and strong supportive relationships. The two primary themes led us to propose a modified version of Bronfenbrenner’s social-ecological systems model adapted to girls’ health. Our proposed model emphasizes how context and the whole system influence and informs girls’ health and wellness. Girls are in the center interacting with and influenced by peers, family, school, community, and the media. Our adapted Bronfenbrenner model provides an opportunity for health care providers and policy makers to examine the levels at which girls’ health can be influenced and enhanced.