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The shaping of midlife women's views of health and health behaviors

Smith-DiJulio, Kathleen, Windsor, Carol A., & Anderson, Debra J. (2010) The shaping of midlife women's views of health and health behaviors. Qualitative Health Research, 20(7), pp. 966-976.

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Abstract

The menopausal transition is a marker of aging for women and a time when health professionals urge women to prevent disease. In this research we adopted a constructivist, inductive approach in exploring how and why midlife women think about health in general, about being healthy, and about factors that influence engaging in healthy behaviors. The sample constituted 23 women who had participated in a women’s wellness program intervention trial and subsequent interviews. The women described lives of healthy eating and exercise, yet, their perceptions of health and healthy behavior at midlife contradicted that history. Midlife was associated with risk and guilt at not doing enough to be healthy. Health professionals provided a very limited frame within which to judge what is healthy. Mostly this was left up to individual women. Those who were successful framed health as “being able to do what you want to do when you want to do it.” In this article we present study findings of how meanings attached to health and being healthy were constructed through social expectations, family relationships, and life experiences.

Impact and interest:

11 citations in Scopus
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11 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 39210
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article: Kathleen Smith-DiJulio acknowledges the support of funding from the Women’s Health Nursing Research Training Grant T32NR07039.
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Keywords: gender, interpretive methods, menopause, midlife, risk, risk perceptions, women's health, women's issues
DOI: 10.1177/1049732310362985
ISSN: 1049-7323
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 The Authors & SAGE Publications Inc.
Deposited On: 15 Dec 2010 14:48
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 13:16

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