Family influences on eating behaviour in low income households with pre-school children

Mackereth, Catherine J. (2003) Family influences on eating behaviour in low income households with pre-school children. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Healthy eating advice aimed at families has traditionally been targeted at women in the belief that it is they who make the decisions about food consumption within the family. The overall aim of this study was to explore the family influences on eating behaviour in low income households with pre-school children. It focused on both the man and the woman in the family. It was considered particularly important to include men since the literature showed that little relevant research had been conducted with men on low incomes.
The study consisted of four phases. The first involved interviewing 10 couples in their home. The second phase comprised of two single sex focus groups. The third phase provided a negative case analysis of women who were not prepared to be interviewed with their partners but were willing to be interviewed on their own. The final phase
involved 22 couples interviewed in their home to ensure the trustworthiness of the results of the previous phases. The study was conducted from an interpretivist perspective and
the findings were analysed, drawing on the principles of Grounded Theory.
The male partner and the children were found to be particularly influential on eating behaviour, as was the cost of food and the time available for preparing meals. Families changed their eating behaviour over time and this was especially true once the couple began to co-habit and again when their children were old enough to make choices about what they ate. During the process of the research, the concept of the 'life course' emerged as a major theme and was explored in greater depth using the nutrition career as a theoretical framework.
Following on from this, different family cultures were mapped out alongside the life course. These two themes were found to relate dynamically and a 'Life Course and Family Culture' (LCFC) model was developed. It is suggested that this model could be used as a basis for developing health promotion needs assessment tools and a questionnaire developed in the study is suggested as a means of facilitating this.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis digitised by the British Library e-thesis online service, EThOS.
Subjects: B400 Nutrition
L300 Sociology
Department: University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2019 15:35
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 15:05

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