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Work with Other Pacific Islanders

If you can not access any of the full publications, please contact Nicola Hawley.

1. Social and economic influences on infant and child feeding practices in a Marshallese community.

Ayers B., Hawley, N.L. & McElfish, P.A. (2019). Public Health Nutrition 22 (8): 1461-1470.

In this study, the researchers aimed to publish the first study examining the key influences on infant and child feeding practices with Marshallese immigrant women in the U.S. The study took place in a Marshallese community in Arkansas, U.S., and included twenty-seven participants that took part in four qualitative focus groups. These participants included Marshallese women with children between 1–3 years of age, and/or caregivers for children of this age range. The researchers identified five primary themes within the multiple levels of the Social Ecological model: at the intrapersonal level, mothers’ and caregivers’ autonomy emerged; at the interpersonal level, child-led and familial influences emerged; at the organizational level, health-care provider influences emerged; and at the policy level, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children emerged. The researchers concluded that understanding the multidimensional influences impacting infant and child feeding practices is necessary to create culturally relevant interventions to reduce health disparities.

2. Maternal health beliefs, perceptions, and experiences in a U.S. Marshallese Community.

Ayers B., Purvis R.A., Bing W., Rubon-Chutaro J., Hawley N.L., Delafield R., Adams I.K. & McElfish P.A. Journal of Transcultural Nursing. doi: 10.1177/1043659619854525 (online ahead of print).

The purpose of this study was to review the beliefs, perceptions, and experience of maternal health among Marshallese women. Using a qualitative descriptive design, the research team surveyed forty-three participants. The team focused on four themes: family planning beliefs and experiences, prenatal beliefs and experiences, birthing beliefs and experiences, and postpartum beliefs and experiences. The researchers were able to identify new information related to these themes that has implications for policy and practice related to culturally congruent health care for Marshallese mothers.