Similarities and differences between families who have frequent and infrequent family meals: A qualitative investigation of low-income and minority households

Jerica M Berge, Michelle Draxten, Amanda Trofholz, Carrie Hanson-Bradley, Kathryn G Justesen, Andrew H Slattengren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Numerous quantitative studies have examined the association between family meal frequency and child/adolescent weight and weight-related behaviors. However, limited qualitative research has been conducted to identify mealtime characteristics (e.g., child behavior during meals, rules/expectations, family dynamics) that occur during family meals that may explain why some families engage in frequent family meals and others do not. This is particularly important within racially/ethnically diverse households, as these demographic groups are at higher risk for weight-related problems. The current study aimed to identify similarities and differences in mealtime characteristics between households that have frequent and infrequent family meals within a low-income and minority population. Methods: This qualitative study included 118 parents who participated in Family Meals, LIVE!, a mixed-methods, cross-sectional study. Parents (90% female; mean age = 35) were racially/ethnically diverse (62% African American, 19% White, 4% Native American, 4% Asian, 11% Mixed/Other) and from low-income (73% < $35,000/yr.) households. Data were analyzed using inductive content analysis. Results: Results indicated some similar mealtime characteristics (i.e., picky eating, involving family members in meal preparation) between households having frequent and infrequent family meals. Additionally, several differences in mealtime characteristics were identified between households having frequent (i.e., importance of family meals, flexibility in the definition of family meals, family meal rules, no pressure-to-eat feeding practices) versus infrequent family meals (i.e., pressure-to-eat parent feeding practices, family meals are dinner meals only, and difficult meal time behaviors). Discussion: Study findings may be useful for developing intervention targets for low-income and racially/ethnically diverse households so more families can benefit from the protective nature of family meals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalEating Behaviors
Volume29
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

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Meals
Weights and Measures
Parents
Pressure
North American Indians
Family Relations
Family Practice
Qualitative Research
Child Behavior
Poverty
African Americans

Keywords

  • Childhood obesity
  • Family meals
  • Low-income
  • Minority households
  • Qualitative

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Cite this

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title = "Similarities and differences between families who have frequent and infrequent family meals: A qualitative investigation of low-income and minority households",
abstract = "Introduction: Numerous quantitative studies have examined the association between family meal frequency and child/adolescent weight and weight-related behaviors. However, limited qualitative research has been conducted to identify mealtime characteristics (e.g., child behavior during meals, rules/expectations, family dynamics) that occur during family meals that may explain why some families engage in frequent family meals and others do not. This is particularly important within racially/ethnically diverse households, as these demographic groups are at higher risk for weight-related problems. The current study aimed to identify similarities and differences in mealtime characteristics between households that have frequent and infrequent family meals within a low-income and minority population. Methods: This qualitative study included 118 parents who participated in Family Meals, LIVE!, a mixed-methods, cross-sectional study. Parents (90{\%} female; mean age = 35) were racially/ethnically diverse (62{\%} African American, 19{\%} White, 4{\%} Native American, 4{\%} Asian, 11{\%} Mixed/Other) and from low-income (73{\%} < $35,000/yr.) households. Data were analyzed using inductive content analysis. Results: Results indicated some similar mealtime characteristics (i.e., picky eating, involving family members in meal preparation) between households having frequent and infrequent family meals. Additionally, several differences in mealtime characteristics were identified between households having frequent (i.e., importance of family meals, flexibility in the definition of family meals, family meal rules, no pressure-to-eat feeding practices) versus infrequent family meals (i.e., pressure-to-eat parent feeding practices, family meals are dinner meals only, and difficult meal time behaviors). Discussion: Study findings may be useful for developing intervention targets for low-income and racially/ethnically diverse households so more families can benefit from the protective nature of family meals.",
keywords = "Childhood obesity, Family meals, Low-income, Minority households, Qualitative",
author = "Berge, {Jerica M} and Michelle Draxten and Amanda Trofholz and Carrie Hanson-Bradley and Justesen, {Kathryn G} and Slattengren, {Andrew H}",
year = "2018",
month = "4",
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doi = "10.1016/j.eatbeh.2018.02.007",
language = "English (US)",
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pages = "99--106",
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T1 - Similarities and differences between families who have frequent and infrequent family meals

T2 - A qualitative investigation of low-income and minority households

AU - Berge, Jerica M

AU - Draxten, Michelle

AU - Trofholz, Amanda

AU - Hanson-Bradley, Carrie

AU - Justesen, Kathryn G

AU - Slattengren, Andrew H

PY - 2018/4/1

Y1 - 2018/4/1

N2 - Introduction: Numerous quantitative studies have examined the association between family meal frequency and child/adolescent weight and weight-related behaviors. However, limited qualitative research has been conducted to identify mealtime characteristics (e.g., child behavior during meals, rules/expectations, family dynamics) that occur during family meals that may explain why some families engage in frequent family meals and others do not. This is particularly important within racially/ethnically diverse households, as these demographic groups are at higher risk for weight-related problems. The current study aimed to identify similarities and differences in mealtime characteristics between households that have frequent and infrequent family meals within a low-income and minority population. Methods: This qualitative study included 118 parents who participated in Family Meals, LIVE!, a mixed-methods, cross-sectional study. Parents (90% female; mean age = 35) were racially/ethnically diverse (62% African American, 19% White, 4% Native American, 4% Asian, 11% Mixed/Other) and from low-income (73% < $35,000/yr.) households. Data were analyzed using inductive content analysis. Results: Results indicated some similar mealtime characteristics (i.e., picky eating, involving family members in meal preparation) between households having frequent and infrequent family meals. Additionally, several differences in mealtime characteristics were identified between households having frequent (i.e., importance of family meals, flexibility in the definition of family meals, family meal rules, no pressure-to-eat feeding practices) versus infrequent family meals (i.e., pressure-to-eat parent feeding practices, family meals are dinner meals only, and difficult meal time behaviors). Discussion: Study findings may be useful for developing intervention targets for low-income and racially/ethnically diverse households so more families can benefit from the protective nature of family meals.

AB - Introduction: Numerous quantitative studies have examined the association between family meal frequency and child/adolescent weight and weight-related behaviors. However, limited qualitative research has been conducted to identify mealtime characteristics (e.g., child behavior during meals, rules/expectations, family dynamics) that occur during family meals that may explain why some families engage in frequent family meals and others do not. This is particularly important within racially/ethnically diverse households, as these demographic groups are at higher risk for weight-related problems. The current study aimed to identify similarities and differences in mealtime characteristics between households that have frequent and infrequent family meals within a low-income and minority population. Methods: This qualitative study included 118 parents who participated in Family Meals, LIVE!, a mixed-methods, cross-sectional study. Parents (90% female; mean age = 35) were racially/ethnically diverse (62% African American, 19% White, 4% Native American, 4% Asian, 11% Mixed/Other) and from low-income (73% < $35,000/yr.) households. Data were analyzed using inductive content analysis. Results: Results indicated some similar mealtime characteristics (i.e., picky eating, involving family members in meal preparation) between households having frequent and infrequent family meals. Additionally, several differences in mealtime characteristics were identified between households having frequent (i.e., importance of family meals, flexibility in the definition of family meals, family meal rules, no pressure-to-eat feeding practices) versus infrequent family meals (i.e., pressure-to-eat parent feeding practices, family meals are dinner meals only, and difficult meal time behaviors). Discussion: Study findings may be useful for developing intervention targets for low-income and racially/ethnically diverse households so more families can benefit from the protective nature of family meals.

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KW - Family meals

KW - Low-income

KW - Minority households

KW - Qualitative

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