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The influence of kin networks on food choice in Vanuatu

Wentworth Fournier, Chelsea (2014) The influence of kin networks on food choice in Vanuatu. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Vanuatu, a Pacific island nation, is experiencing high rates of stunting and wasting in children despite the implementation of educational campaigns by the Vanuatu Ministry of Health targeted at reducing the prevalence of under-nutrition in the population. While researchers have studied the impact of extended kin networks on health behavior, relatively little consideration has been given to the role of kin networks in infant feeding, especially in the Pacific. This project was designed to examine the impact of kin networks, particularly grandmothers, on infant and child feeding practice in Vanuatu. Findings demonstrate that, as mothers face economic, environmental, and social pressures from kin, decision-making processes become a negotiation between biomedically driven pressures from health care workers and familial pressures regarding appropriate childcare and nutritional practices. This research has public health significance as it highlights important implications for understanding childhood malnutrition in stable developing countries where people are not experiencing additional burdens of disease exacerbated by prolonged war, economic distress, or excessive environmental degradation. The practical importance of including kin in nutrition focused research and interventions, demonstrates expanded avenues for further public health research and practice. Thus, research results stress the importance of the broader significance of the influence of kin networks on malnutrition can be used to develop effective health care strategies for combating childhood malnutrition in Vanuatu, and more broadly, in the context of island economies, and throughout the developing world.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wentworth Fournier, Chelseacwm23@pitt.eduCWM23
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRYUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberScaglion, Richardscaglion@pitt.eduSCAGLIONUNSPECIFIED
Date: 2014
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kin, Networks, Maternal, and, Child, Health, Pacific, Islands, Vanuatu
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2015 21:07
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2023 10:56


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