“We’re Changing Our Ways”: Women’s Coping Strategies for Obesity Risk-reducing Behaviors in American Indian Households

Preety Gadhoke, Karina Christiansen, Marla Pardilla, Kevin Frick, Joel Gittelsohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article reveals women caregivers’ perceptions and coping strategies to improve households’ food and physical activity habits. Results emerged from the pre-intervention formative research phase of a multi-site, multi-level obesity prevention pilot intervention on American Indian (AI) reservations. Using purposive sampling, 250 adults and children participated in qualitative research. Results reveal that having local institutional support was a key structural facilitator. ‘Family connectedness’ emerged as a key relational facilitator. Hegemony of systems, food deserts, transportation, and weather were key structural barriers; Childcare needs and time constraints were key relational barriers. Women’s coping strategies included planning ahead, maximizing, apportioning, tempting healthy, and social support. Findings informed the development and implementation of a novel obesity prevention pilot intervention tailored for each participating AI community addressing culturally relevant messages, institutional policies, and programs. We conclude with future consideration for comparative, ethnicity-based, class-based, and gender-specific studies on women’s coping strategies for household health behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-602
Number of pages20
JournalEcology of Food and Nutrition
Volume54
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015

Keywords

  • American Indian
  • coping strategies
  • households
  • obesity prevention
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Ecology

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