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Qual Health Res. 2010 Sep;20(9):1173-82. doi: 10.1177/1049732310370213. Epub 2010 May 4.

Youth's perspectives on the determinants of health.

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University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


In this article, we discuss findings of an ethnographic exploring how Canadian youth frame health within the context of their life situations. Seventy-one youth (12 to 19 years of age) from diverse ethnic backgrounds and residing in a major city in western Canada took part in the study.We used traditional ethnographic methods of interviewing and fieldwork, as well as photovoice. Sociocultural themes emerging from the study indicate that even though youth have a broad understanding of health that includes acknowledging the many different types of health beyond physical health, lifestyle factors such as healthy eating and exercise nonetheless dominate the talk of health by youth. The results highlight that the concept of health normalized by academics and public policy experts-as being inclusive of the broader determinants of health-might not be congruent with how youth regard health.

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