Date of Award

Spring 1987

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



Committee Director

Linda L. Davis

Committee Member

Kathryn Caufield

Committee Member

Lazelle Benefield


The capacity of parents to act as health educators in the home is proposed as a functional piece of Orem's dependent care agency construct. A new data collection instrument, the Health Education Questionnaire, was developed to explore the conceptual dimensions of an intellectual pre-production phase of health action-taking. Parents' self-reported knowledge and beliefs regarding selected health topics, as well as their perceptions of ego strength and valuing health were proposed as independent factors in dependent care agency related to health education in the home. Methodology included the investigation of reliability using Cronbach's alpha and validation of the agency construct using factor analytic techniques. The resulting two-factor model indicated separate cognitive and affective dimensions of agency, suggesting that knowledge and beliefs are significant elements related to the ability of parents of school-age children to function as health educators. Recommendations for further testing and refinement of the new instrument are given.


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Included in

Nursing Commons