Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What Kids Know ... about Cardiovascular Disease

Sometimes, I suppose, finding nothing is good news.

In a recent study, 4th and 5th graders in an urban and a suburban school were surveyed about what they knew about the risk factors of cardiovascular disease.  The kids scored a 77.5 percent "comprehension level," which I can't explain in detail because only the abstract is available.  The authors also report:
There was no statistically significant difference in the mean survey scores of urban and suburban schools (p=0.98). There was no statistically significant difference in survey scores based on how often the child had received previous education about risk factors (p<0.22). In addition, no correlation was found between survey score and where the child had received previous education (r<0.086).
What can we take from the info above?  First, they don't know how to report correlation coefficients.  That last one, r<0.086?  Just tell me the friggin correlation, such as r=.09, n.s.  We don't need false precision by going to the thousandth.  Second, it's not necessarily bad news to find nada.  No difference between urban and suburban kids, that's good.  But why would being educated about risk factors have no effect?  Easy.  Kids don't pay a lot of attention to that stuff, or whatever was presented in school was so basic that kids who didn't get it knew it anyway.  Sort of a good news-bad news result.

Oh, and the media?
Education regarding cardiovascular disease risk factors is currently being delivered to children via school, family, and the media.
In other words, kids seem to be getting the message through school and the media and that's an overall good thing.

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