"It's Like Big Mama's House": Examining Extended Family Influences on the Dietary Behaviors of African American Children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-170
Number of pages22
JournalEcology of Food and Nutrition
Volume53
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2014

Keywords

  • African American
  • dietary socialization
  • families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Ecology

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