Mexican-heritage children are at greater risk to become overweight or obese than children of other ethnic or racial groups. Despite this, there is limited information in the literature about how the mothers care for their preschoolers after they are classified as overweight or obese. The objective of this study was to gain insight into the lived experiences of Mexican-heritage mothers caring for overweight or obese preschool children to enhance nurses’ ability to effectively care for these children. A qualitative, hermeneutic design was selected for this study guided by the phenomenological approach of Max van Manen. Saturation was achieved after interviewing 12 mothers of Mexican heritage. Seven themes and 11 subthemes emerged from the data. Maternal caring practices were influenced by their Mexican heritage, emotional burdens, and perceptions of child’s weight status, disconnectedness and connectedness with family and health care professionals, and being resourceful. To protect their children from the untoward consequences of overweight, the mothers linked past family history and practices with present needs. Cultural influences, social support, past experiences, available resources, and emotional status all play integral roles in a mother’s ability to partner with nurses in developing a holistic effective plan to care for overweight children.
MexicanHeritage Mothers, Caring, Lived Experience, Preschool, Obesity, Phenomenology, van Manen
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Recommended APA Citation
McDonald, S. (2015). The Lived Experiences of Mexican-Heritage Mothers Caring for Overweight Preschool Children. The Qualitative Report, 20(4), 431-450. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol20/iss4/5