Incorporating the life course model into MCH nutrition leadership education and training programs

Betsy Haughton, Kristen Eppig, Shannon M. Looney, Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Bonnie A. Spear, Marsha Spence, Jamie S. Stang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Life course perspective, social determinants of health, and health equity have been combined into one comprehensive model, the life course model (LCM), for strategic planning by US Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The purpose of this project was to describe a faculty development process; identify strategies for incorporation of theLCMinto nutrition leadership education and training at the graduate and professional levels; and suggest broader implications for training, research, and practice. Nineteen representatives from 6 MCHB-funded nutrition leadership education and training programs and 10 federal partners participated in a one-day session that began with an overview of the models and concluded with guided small group discussions on how to incorporate them into maternal and child health (MCH) leadership training using obesity as an example. Written notes from group discussions were compiled and coded emergently. Content analysis determined the most salient themes about incorporating the models into training. Four major LCM-related themes emerged, three of which were about training: (1) incorporation by training grants through LCM-framed coursework and experiences for trainees, and similarly framed continuing education and skills development for professionals; (2) incorporation through collaboration with other training programs and state and community partners, and through advocacy; and (3) incorporation by others at the federal and local levels through policy, political, and prevention efforts. The fourth theme focused on anticipated challenges of incorporating the model in training. Multiple methods for incorporating the LCM into MCH training and practice are warranted. Challenges to incorporating include the need for research and related policy development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-146
Number of pages11
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was partially supported by grants from Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau for Leadership Education and Training in Nutrition to the following institutions: Baylor College of Medicine, Indiana University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Minnesota, and University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Special thanks for thoughtful reviews and comments are extended to Holly Grason, Sue Lin, and Denise Sofka of Health Resources and Services Administration, Karyl Rickard and Deborah Abel of Indiana University, and Diane Anderson from Baylor College of Medicine. Additional thanks to Elizabeth (Lizzy) Miller, MCH nutrition trainee at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who assisted with content analysis, and to Margaret Tate, Consultant, who helped facilitate work of this collaborative project.


  • Health equity
  • Life course
  • Maternal and child health
  • Nutrition
  • Social determinants of health


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