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Pediatrics. 1980 Dec;66(6):912-7.

Development of children's concepts of illness.


This study examines the development of children's concepts of illness in light of Piaget's and Werner's findings regarding the ontogenesis of causal relations. Six developmentally ordered categories of explanation of illness have been articulated. These categories, which are consistent with Piaget's three major stages of cognitive development, can be useful to pediatricians (1) in explaining illness and providing "reassurance" to children, (2) in developing meaningful health education strategies, and (3) in responding to the degree of control the child feels over the illness.

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