Hospitalized school-age children express ideas, feelings, and behaviors toward God

J Pediatr Nurs. 1991 Oct;6(5):337-49.


Several published studies have reported that children are capable of having a relationship with God. There is little documentation of the influence of stressful situations such as hospitalization on this relationship. Twenty-eight hospitalized subjects (8 to 10 years old) were interviewed using a picture and storytelling technique. Three core processes were identified: how children told a story about a hospitalized child; attributes assigned to God; and responses of children to God in an illness situation. The findings suggest that the child's relationship with God could be helpful in coping with the fears and anxieties normally present during hospitalization. The findings also support those of others who found children can view illness as a punishment from God.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Hospitalized / psychology*
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Sick Role
  • Surveys and Questionnaires