Disciplina parental e práticas de autocuidado de saúde em jovens adultos

  • Maria da Conceição Gonçalves Marques Alegre Sá

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The performance of self-care health practices involves a number of internal and external resources inherent to human development. The exercise of parental discipline involves circumstances and parental behaviors that are important promoters of multiple decision resources that are common to human development and self-care health practices. In this way, and given the need for identifying factors that contribute to the development of self-care in nursing throughout life, this study aims to improve the knowledge on self-care health practices as a learning process that is sensitive to both personal and family dimensions, particularly regarding parental discipline. Objectives - This study aims to characterize young adults’ self-care health practices and parental discipline, analyze how young adults’ self-care health practices are associated with discipline, and identify predictors of young adults’ self-care health practices. Methodology - A descriptive, cross-sectional and correlational study was conducted using quantitative methods. A probability sample was selected from secondary and higher education institutions in the city of Coimbra. The target population was composed of students aged between 18 and 24 years. Data were collected by the researcher using the following instruments: Dimensions of Discipline Inventory (DDI, Straus & Fauchier, 2007) and Denyes Self-Care Practice Instrument (DSCPI-90, Denyes, 1990). These instruments were validated to the Portuguese population within the scope of this study. Results - The sample was composed of 1168 young adults. Mothers play a major disciplinary role for 49% of these participants, whereas only 5% of the participants reported that their fathers exert discipline more often than their mothers. Most mothers and fathers used non-punitive discipline. With regard to self-care health practices, young adults reported spending 47% of their time performing self-care health practices. The highest mean was observed in self-regulatory and social engagement activities (49.2%), followed by general health actions (48.7%). The lowest percentage was observed in the practices associated with a balanced diet (42.4%). This study identified the following predictors of self-care health practices: household income; the recognition that both parents are equally responsible for discipline; punitive discipline; the context in which discipline is exerted; affection/support; impulsiveness; and the use of warning methods for disciplinary purposes. Conclusions - The use of parental disciplinary methods is associated with the frequency and severity of childhood misbehaviors. Therefore, an increase in misbehaviors is associated with an increase in punitive disciplinary methods, in negative contextual factors, and in the way of exercising discipline, with differences between fathers and mothers and an increase in mothers’ negative responses. The low level of engagement in self-care health practices in the initial phase of young adults’ process of empowerment points to the need to address the structuring processes that influence these practices. The predictive factors of young adults’ self-care health practices associated with parental discipline contribute to reinforcing the importance of the quality of parent-child interaction during childhood to the learning process of self-care health practices. However, these predictors differ according to the young adult’s gender and to whether it is the father or the mother who exerts discipline.
Date of Award7 Nov 2018
Original languagePortuguese
SupervisorBárbara Fernandes de Carvalho Figueiredo (Supervisor) & Margarida Maria Vieira (Supervisor)


  • Nursing
  • Self-care health
  • Parental discipline
  • Self-care
  • Disciplinary methods
  • Young adults


  • Doutoramento em Enfermagem

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