The correlation between parents' education attainment and humanistic literacy of eight-year medical students

Int J Med Educ. 2024 May 14:15:48-58. doi: 10.5116/ijme.661d.10af.


Objectives: To explore the content, ways, and methods of family education in cultivating students' humanistic literacy.

Methods: We used a cross-sectional study and collected questionnaire data from 616 eight-year clinical medical students of Central South University by a convenience sampling survey. To determine the influence of parents' educational attainment on children's humanistic literacy, the students were mainly divided into two groups including parents' education attainment was college or above (Group B) and parents' education attainment below college (Group A). Non-parametric tests are used to test the differences between the two groups in humanistic spirit, interpersonal communication, humanistic knowledge and ability, and development planning.

Results: Group B had better social morality and a sense of social responsibility than group A (P=0.024, P=0.001). Compared to group A, students in group B could better integrate into the new environment, communicate with students from different institutes, and take an active part in activities (P=0.001). In a nutshell, students in group B had more excellent humanistic knowledge and ability and could consult medical literature and write in Chinese or English more proficiently than group A (P=0.0001, P=0.0001).

Conclusions: We found that the eight-year medical students whose parents' highest education attainment is college or above almost mastered a higher level of humanistic literacy. It demonstrated family humanistic literacy education is irreplaceable. We recommend systematic efforts to build a reasonable and effective family humanistic literacy education platform and form an educational synergy with school education to make the cultivation of humanistic literacy among students more efficient.

Keywords: eight-year clinical medical students; family education; home-school collaboration; humanistic literacy; parents’ education attainment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Humanism*
  • Humans
  • Literacy
  • Male
  • Parents* / education
  • Parents* / psychology
  • Students, Medical* / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult