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He whakaturanga mo te hauora tamariki : a picture of child health : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Maori Studies at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This research investigated the use of a self administrated health assessment
questionnaire by children, and the significance of the translation from the source
instrument (in English) into te reo Maori. The translation of a child health
questionnaire was undertaken to produce a health survey tool that could be
completed by a child over the age of 8 years in English or in te reo Maori. The
questionnaire was pre-tested then used in a survey to determine both reliability
and validity. The parents and caregivers of the children surveyed were also
interviewed. The parent’s responses were compared with those of their children.
The research undertaken has provided a new opportunity for children to take a
central role in research into their own health. Children contributed as key
experts, focus group participants and translators of the child questionnaire,
alongside adults in some cases. Children provided a new perspective of their
health and well-being by translating the questionnaire. This child-centred process
added depth to the research of questionnaire validation and testing. The
questionnaire was shown to perform adequately as a survey tool.
New research is required in order to theorise beyond the questionnaire’s original
two-factor conceptual model and to develop clinical and public health
applications using a child-centred research process. The translation provided by
the children demonstrated they are informed participants, who have an interest in
their own health, are reliable and understand their health in a different manner to
This thesis argues that the direct and full involvement of participants in research
that is designed to investigate their health is critical if new knowledge is to
emerge. It also concludes the self administered questionnaire can be useful tools
to understand the health of Maori speaking children.