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Literacy and MotheringHow Women’s Schooling Changes the Lives of the World's Children$
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Robert A. LeVine, Sarah LeVine, Beatrice Schnell-Anzola, Meredith L. Rowe, and Emily Dexter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309829

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309829.001.0001

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Mothers as Pupils in Health Care Settings

Mothers as Pupils in Health Care Settings

(p.117) 6 Mothers as Pupils in Health Care Settings
Literacy and Mothering

Robert A. Levine

Sarah E. Levine

Beatrice Schnell-Anzola

Meredith L. Rowe

Emily Dexter

Oxford University Press

In this chapter the literacy-mediation hypothesis – that the acquisition of academic literacy influences health literacy and health navigation skills – is tested in the four-country data and the UNICEF Nepal survey. The hypothesis is supported by multivariate analyses, not only in regard to the comprehension of printed health messages but also in the comprehension of radio messages and in producing an intelligible illness narrative – though both of the latter are oral communication tasks. These findings suggest that literacy instruction in school promotes a woman’s health literacy and navigation skills beyond those that involve reading and writing, and point to a more general ability to communicate in bureaucratic settings like schools and clinics and to a tendency to accept the authority of health professionals. The UNICEF Nepal survey shows health knowledge and media exposure to be involved in the causal sequence.

Keywords:   Literacy-mediation hypothesis, health literacy, health navigation skill, UNICEF, multivariate analysis, print health messages, radio health messages, illness narratives, oral communication task, bureaucratic communication, authority of health professionals

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