High school students' knowledge of nutrition and reproduction



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This study sought to investigate the level of knowledge of nutrition and reproduction concepts shown by 522 students (253 9th graders and 269 11th graders, of whom 228 were male and 294 female, and 247 from rural and 275 from urban schools). The students were randomly selected by 10 traditional high schools from five parishes in Jamaica. Short, structured questions demanding open-ended responses were used for data collection. The results indicated that: 1) the students’ knowledge of the two concepts was low, mainly because of lack of knowledge, incomplete knowledge, and sociocultural beliefs; 2) the students’ knowledge improved with age in favour of the 11th graders whose misunderstandings were much less than the 9th graders; and 3) the females significantly outscored the males while the urban students had significantly better knowledge than their rural counterparts.


Paper prepared for presentation at the Fourth Biennial Cross-Campus Conference on Education at the Faculty of Arts and Education, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, 12-15, January, 1997.

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Reproduction, Nutrition