Occupational Therapy Program Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Therapy

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Health Care Sciences – Occupational Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


November 2011.

"Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Occupational Therapy Department, College of Allied Health and Nursing, Nova Southeastern University."

Childhood obesity has been identified as a serious public health concern for over a decade. To date, no one has examined the complex interactions which seem to be occurring within this epidemic using an exploratory approach. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore the complex interaction between the decisions mothers make when attempting to promote health in their children and the environmental factors which influence these decisions. A grounded theory approach guided this exploration. Eleven mothers of children aged 7-12 participated in this study. Data collection included two semi-structured interviews, personal diary entries, a parenting style questionnaire, and a demographic data sheet. Constant comparative analysis resulted in six main themes. These include: Managing Time, Managing Chaos; Managing Health from a Distance; Cultural Infatuation with Food (food is always available); Fluctuating Challenges and Supports; Strategies; and Resulting Actions/Interactions. Additionally, this research resulted in a proposition and substantive-level theory which helps illustrate and explain the complex interactions between the mothers and the surrounding context as well as the resultant influence on performance.


Occupational Therapy


Social sciences, Psychology, Health and environmental sciences, Childhood obesity, Grounded theory, Health promotion, Mothering, Occupational therapy

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