Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

Spring 5-16-1960

Abstract

The purposes of this study were: (1) to examine maternal behavior of the lower socio-economic groups in relation to infant-feeding practices through two well-established cultural groups of North America, that of the Anglo and Spanish people; (2) to determine where there were differences in feeding practices between two cultural groups so that the nurse may apply this knowledge to her professional practice; and (3) to provide data which might contribute to the expanding knowledge of nursing education. The technique used for the collection of the data was the interview-schedule with open-end questions administered to selected mothers. A sampling of twenty Anglo and twenty Spanish mothers who had infants under the age of two and a half years and were registered in Child Health Conferences within metropolitan Denver in the fall of 1959 were the source of data. A total of fifty-one children were represented by both groups interviewed. The data were tallied, categorized into tables, and calculated into percentages. The critical ratio of probability was then computed and compared to the .05 level of significance statistically. The findings of the study were that: (1) although the ages of the children in both groups were essentially identical, the Spanish mothers were currently breast feeding their children while none of the Anglo mothers were; (2) Anglo mothers permitted their children to nurse for a shorter time while Spanish mothers tended to allow longer and more frequently interrupted nursing periods; (3) the Anglo mothers were less able to anticipate the age their children would initially drink from a cup than were the Spanish mothers; (4) the Anglo mothers started their children on solid food at a much younger age than did the Spanish mothers; (5) more Spanish mothers insist their children eat food they disliked; and (6) the Spanish mothers were more apt to reprimand their two year old children for playing in their food than Anglo mothers.

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