• Wright, Anne L (PI)

Project: Research project

Grant Details


The Navajor Infant Feeding Project will investigate how ethnicity
and cultural context affect infant feeding patterns and will
develop informaton useful to the promotion of breast feeding
among the Navajo. Its specific aims are 1) to determine the
prevalence of breast- and bottle-feeding among the Navajo, 2) to
characterize Navajo weaning practices, 3) to identify structural
factors which impact infant feeding practices, 4) to characterize
women who terminate breast-feeding early in contrast to those
who persist, and 5) to elicit attitudes and beliefs of Navajo women
regarding infant feeding. This study of the social and behavioral
factors which affect nutritional status of Navajo infants should be
directly applicable to improving the health of these children. This cross-sectional study of infant feeding practices in the first 9
months of life will be conducted at three research sites which
were selected to reflect the diversity of lifestyle on the
reservation. The project will utilize both qualitative and
quantitate methods to investigate infant feeding practices.
Ethnographic inteviews, observations and decision modeling will
be used to develop new hypotheses, to investigate behaviors in the
context of daily decisions, and to provide a vocabulary for a
questionnarie. Such qualitative techniques are essential because
modern Navajo feeding patterns have not been studied and
ethnicity has been identified as an important predictor of infant
feeding beliefs and behaviors. Subsequently, a survey interview
stragety will be used to permit the testing of these and other
hypotheses for general applicability to the Navajo case, as well as
to describe individual variability in feeding patterns and its
correlation. A third aspect of the study will entail a medical
record review, to provide feeding information on a larger number
of mother-infant dyads and to assess represenativeness of the
survey sample. The use of both quantitative and qualitative
techniques is essential to the understanding of the range of
biological social, and cultural factors which affect infant feeding
decisions in a context of diversity and cultural change. The project is jointly proposed by invesigators at the University of
Arizona and Navajo Community College.
Effective start/end date9/1/888/31/91


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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