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Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

"It's like big mama's house": examining extended family influences on the dietary behaviors of African American children

Title"It's like big mama's house": examining extended family influences on the dietary behaviors of African American children
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBrown, NA, Thornton, RL, Smith, KC, Surkan, PJ, Levine, DM
JournalEcology of Food and Nutrition
Volume53
Pagination149-70
ISBN Number0367-0244
Accession Number24564191
Abstract

The family environment plays an important role in influencing children's dietary behaviors. Traditionally, African American extended family members play a key role in child socialization. We examine the role of extended families in how children are socialized to adopt dietary norms. We conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 24 individuals across eight family units to elicit information regarding the influences of culture and families on children's dietary behaviors. Findings suggest that families teach children to value activities that combine quality time and enjoying food together; adults are inconsistent in how they teach children to adopt desired dietary behaviors. This work has implications for improving family-based interventions for African American children through promoting healthful behaviors that are also respectful of family dietary traditions, improving communication between adults and children, and leveraging family members as attitudinal and behavioral referents.

PMCID

Pmc3997254