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Harnessing the power of cultural health narratives when working with parents of young children

  • Marg Rogers (a1)


Narratives are a powerful tool for transferring knowledge and culture. They have a profound effect on our psyche and our attitudes to messages and teachings. The transfer of information through traditional teaching and lectures is often less effective in changing a belief or understanding than using narrative. In this discussion paper, I explore this phenomenon and examine the persuasive effect of cultural narratives. The discussion also considers the impacts of cultural narrative as an educative tool on parental attitudes towards childhood immunisation. I explore the changing nature of the way parents with young children communicate and seek information and early childhood educators’ roles in their lives within the Australian context. Understanding the way humans are drawn to narrative may be beneficial to health workers, early childhood educators, family workers and those who plan health education programmes. To effectively target their messages, it would be of benefit to public health officials to have knowledge about how parents with young children inform themselves and develop health beliefs, and the extent to which parents’ ideas become fixed.


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Author for correspondence: Marg Rogers, Email:


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