In Quebec, the Healthy School and Global Health approaches, situated at the crossroads of education and health, attract attention for their global and integrated promotion of young people’s health. Within the context of these emerging approaches, this questionnaire-based study aims to describe how parents (N=573) perceive health in the school setting, their role with regard to health and the ways they engage with their child in this regard.
The collected data have been analyzed using a socio-ecological framework; findings reveal that parents have a positive view of school health, but do not necessarily associate it with the approach recommended in the environment as a whole. Generally speaking, they link health to lifestyles, particularly healthy diet and exercise, and demonstrate their involvement in various ways depending on their socio-economic status. This discussion examines the communication strategies employed to familiarize parents with said approaches in school-family relationships and highlights the importance of developing their critical thinking so that parent-child interactions will prove relevant and constructive in the promotion of health. Concerted action and a shared vision for health education among stakeholders in the school and family environments are suggested to optimize the impacts on young people’s day-to-day life.
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(Author: Marie-Claude Rivard, Sylvain Turcotte