Health promotion through the lifespan - the phenomenon of the inner child reflected in childhood events - experienced by children, adults and older persons

Document identifier: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-76705
Keyword: Medical and Health Sciences, Health Sciences, Other Health Sciences, Medicin och hälsovetenskap, Hälsovetenskaper, Annan hälsovetenskap, Health promotion, Inner child, Lifespan, Play, Life lessons, Self-knowledge, Health Science, Hälsovetenskap
Publication year: 2020
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 3 Good health and wellbeingSDG 16 Peace, justice and strong institutionsSDG 4 Quality education
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by OSDG.ai

Abstract:

In spite of the fact that we are living longer lives, we still have to face challenges in our society like mental ill-health and stress-related conditions. However, human experiences may give insight on how to overcome challenges like these, by using a health-promoting perspective focusing on salutogenic aspects of health and well-being. The overall aim of this thesis was to describe and gain more knowledge about the phenomenon of the inner child reflected in human beings’ experiences of childhood in connection to health and well-being in the present and through the life course. The thesis consists of three data collections and four studies, and they are all based on a qualitative approach. A total of 53 human beings aged 9 to 91 participated. Open-ended interviews (I – III) were conducted to explore the participants’ lived experiences of childhood. The schoolchildren were also asked to create a drawing to support their narrations about playing (I). A hermeneutical phenomenological approach was used to analyse the data (I – III). A secondary analysis of the data from the three hermeneutical phenomenological studies was performed (IV). The comprehensive understanding of all studies (I-IV) was about meeting the challenges in our society of mental ill-health and stress-related conditions. The findings suggest that the participants by practicing self-knowledge to be the best they can be are turning challenges into life lessons. The findings illuminate how human beings are influenced by the inner child throughout the lifespan. Experiences during childhood have an impact on how we act in relation to the next generation, in our choice of profession, and in the promotion of health. The notion of “test-driving life” was about the participants trying to manoeuvre through life with experiences of supportive relationships and safe surroundings, and also of the opposite. Using a health promotion perspective focusing on salutogenic aspects of health and wellbeing, human experiences during the lifespan may give insight on how to overcome challenges in life increasing health literacy – an area in need of further research. The phenomenon of the inner child may further the discussion of health promotion.

Authors

Margareta Sjöblom

Luleå tekniska universitet; Institutionen för hälsovetenskap
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Catrine Kostenius

Luleå tekniska universitet; Hälsa och rehabilitering
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Lars Jacobsson

Luleå tekniska universitet; Hälsa och rehabilitering; Region Norrbotten
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Bengt Lindström

Department of Public Health and Nursing, Norweigan University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
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