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What makes parents act and react? Parental views and considerations relating to "child health' during infancy

Journal article
Authors Gerd Almqvist-Tangen
S. Arvidsson
Bernt Alm
Stefan Bergman
Josefine Roswall
Jovanna Dahlgren
L. Nevonen
Published in Journal of Child Health Care
Volume 21
Issue 4
Pages 415-423
ISSN 1367-4935
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Pages 415-423
Language en
Keywords Child health, feeding, growth, interviews, parental views, qualitative design, education, project, weight, Nursing, Pediatrics
Subject categories Pediatrics


Lifestyle factors and behaviours are adopted very early in life and tend to persist throughout life. Considering that the parents are the primary gatekeepers for their child's health, there is a need to gain more knowledge and deeper understanding about what causes parents to act and react in order for early preventive efforts to have any effect. The aim was to explore the parental views and considerations concerning child health' among parents with infants 8-10 months old. The sample was strategic and 16 parents (aged 23-41) were recruited from three child health centres in Sweden. Open-ended interviews were conducted and a qualitative, manifest content analysis approach was utilized. The parents described the subject child health' as a large, multifaceted concept. Three categories emerged during data analysis: developing a sixth sense, being affected by perceptions and believing health and ill health as a continuum. The parents perceived food and feeding issues as one of the most worrying aspects and a significant indicator of child health'. In order to meet the parents on their turf, the healthy health message' conveyed needs to take the parental perspective into consideration rather than attempting to educate the parents from predetermined assumption, belief and values.

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