UMass Worcester PRC Publications


Using qualitative methods to design a culturally appropriate child feeding questionnaire for low-income, Latina mothers

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Boston; Child; Child, Preschool; Culture; Feeding Behavior; Female; Focus Groups; *Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Health Promotion; *Hispanic Americans; Humans; Infant; Interviews as Topic; Male; Mothers; Overweight; Perception; Poverty; Qualitative Research; Questionnaires; Social Class; Social Environment


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Maternal and Child Health | Pediatrics | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion


Obesity rates remain high among children in the United States (US), but children of low-income, minority families are at particularly high risk. Latinos are the largest and most rapidly growing US population group. Effective strategies will require attention to a wide array of culturally mediated variables that influence child feeding practices through the social contexts in which behaviors take place. This paper presents the design and implementation of a qualitative study examining low-income, Latina mothers' perceptions of child weight status and feeding practices, and their associations with the development of overweight in children. Guided by the social ecologic model and social contextual model on the role of the family in mediating health behavior, the Latina Mother Child Feeding Practices (LMCFP) study provided a systematic exploration of the influence of social class, culture, and environmental factors associated with mothers' perceptions of child overweight on feeding practices and behaviors. The design for this qualitative study consisted of three sequential phases: focus groups, in-depth interviews and cognitive interviews with Latina mothers conducted by Spanish-speaking researchers. Results showed the important role of socio-cultural factors in influencing Latina mothers' child feeding practices. In the short-term, this research yielded information to develop a child-feeding questionnaire appropriate for low-income, Latina mothers. Findings have important implications in developing nutrition education strategies for child health promotion that account for the social and cultural context of minority, low-income caregivers.


Childhood overweight and obesity, Latina, Child feeding practices

DOI of Published Version



Lindsay AC, Sussner KM, Greaney M, Wang ML, Davis R, Peterson KE. Using qualitative methods to design a culturally appropriate child feeding questionnaire for low-income, Latina mothers. Matern Child Health J. 2012 May;16(4):860-6. doi: 10.1007/s10995-011-0804-y. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Maternal and child health journal


At the time of publication, Monica Wang was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID