High school students’ knowledge level of, attitudes toward and interest in cancer
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Cancer is one of the most common diseases in recent years. However, there are very few studies which investigate adolescents’ cancer awareness and thoughts about cancer in Turkey. This research explored high school students’ (N= 275, %56 female and %44 male students) level of knowledge about risk factors, attitudes toward and interest in cancer. The required data were collected from three private schools in Ankara and one private school in Erzurum via questionnaire. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, v.24.0) was used to analyze the data. The results indicated that most of the students were successful at identifying cancer risk factors except for “overweight” and all non-carcinogenic factors. In addition, most of the participants had negative attitudes toward cancer, whereas they did not tend to exhibit cancer protective behaviors. Furthermore, most of the participants were not interested in “cancer topic.” In addition, female students had more negative thoughts and tended to exhibit more protective behavior toward cancer than male students. However, no gender difference was found in terms of the students’ level of knowledge about risk factors and interest in cancer. In the direction of these results, the current study suggests that exploring high school students’ existing level of knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and interests about cancer contribute to teachers, curriculum and lesson material developers to form an effective cancer education.
Tri-partite model of attitudes