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cognitive development, foundational capabilities and dispositions, health fair, health messages, Orem, Piaget, Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory, self-care agency, school-aged children, Vygotsky



  1. Whitener, Louise M. RN, MS
  2. Cox, Karen R. RN, MSN
  3. Maglich, Susan A. MEd


To be effective, presentation of health messages for development of self-care agency must be age and developmentally appropriate. Blending cognitive development theories with selected foundational capabilities and dispositions from Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory (SCDNT) has resulted in five concrete factors for successfully designing and delivering health messages for optimal learning in children. The capacity to learn requires perception, attention, play, communication, and memory. Actual evidence of learning about healthy choices by elementary school-aged children is illustrated. Indications of successes and deficiencies in design and delivery of health promotion messages during a school health fair are presented.