Objective: To describe the weight-related family functioning of racial minority families with low income using family systems theory as an interpretive framework. Design: Primarily a qualitative study with interviews plus; descriptive demographics, anthropometrics, a family functioning measure, and food insecurity screening. Setting: Telephone interviews with families of preschool-aged children in an urban setting. Participants: Primary caregivers of preschool-aged children. Phenomenon of Interest: Cultural impacts on family systems. Analysis: Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and loaded into NVivo 12 for thematic analysis. Descriptive statistics. Results: The 23 participants were mothers and 2 maternal grandmothers. Seventy-four percent were African American, most children were normal weight (n = 15, 65%), mean family function scores were high, and more than half the families were at risk for food insecurity (n = 13, 56%). Acculturation and intergenerational eating-related cultural dimensions were discerned as the overarching themes influencing family cohesion. Family cohesion appeared to have helped the families adapt to the impact of coronavirus disease 2019. Conclusions and Implications: Cultural dimensions such as acculturation and intergenerational influences appeared to be associated with social cohesion and family functioning around weight-related behaviors for these families. These findings add cultural and family resilience dimensions to family systems theory in nutrition interventions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- family systems theory
- social determinants of health