Urban, low-income, African American Parents' experiences and expectations of well-child care

Kara S. Koschmann, Cynthia J. Peden-McAlpine, Mary Chesney, Susan M. Mason, Mary C. Hooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Well-child care is the foundation of pediatric health promotion and disease prevention. Primary care quality is lower for low-income and African American children compared to white children, and social determinants have an increasingly acknowledged impact on child health. Ensuring that high-quality well-child care fulfills its potential to mitigate the negative effects of social determinants on African American children is imperative. This study provides an understanding of urban, low-income, African American well-child care experiences and expectations. Design and methods: A qualitative, focus group method was used. A purposive, volunteer sample of low-income, African American parents with children birth to age five was recruited from St. Louis and Milwaukee. Focus groups were held in convenient, community sites. Data was audio-digitally recorded. Transcribed data were coded and analyzed through inductive content analysis. Results: Thirty-five caregivers, 86% females, participated in four focus groups. Categories (and sub-categories) identified include: Community factors (We want better schools, It's getting more rough where I live); Sources of parenting advice (Google it, Call your parent, Older remedies); System challenges (Cost, Frequent new faces, Politics); Challenges with providers (Couldn't help me, Missed something important, Treated differently, Are you really listening?); Anticipatory guidance (Breastfeeding, Discipline, Vaccines, Development); and What parents desire (Know them, trust). Conclusions: This study reveals the contexts that give rise to health care disparities and provides insight into parent's healthcare behaviors. Practice implications: Results offer providers guidance in providing well-child care for this population to improve pediatric care quality and child health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of pediatric nursing
Early online dateFeb 15 2021
StatePublished - Feb 18 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • African American
  • Care quality
  • Primary care
  • Well-child care

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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