Preferred intervention strategies to improve dietary and physical activity behaviors among African-American mothers and daughters

Public Health Nurs. 2017 Sep;34(5):461-471. doi: 10.1111/phn.12339. Epub 2017 Jun 22.


Objective: The objective of this study was to identify cultural- and age-appropriate intervention strategies to improve dietary and physical activity (PA) behaviors in African-American adolescent daughters and their mothers.

Design and sample: A convergent parallel mixed methods design with interactive quantitative and qualitative measures was used. Twenty-four 9th- and 10th-grade African-American daughters from a large urban high school and their mothers participated.

Measures: Measures included the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System dietary and PA questions, 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System dietary and PA questions, and BMI. Focus group questions covered preferred intervention formats and strategies for delivering a dietary and PA intervention.

Results: Fifty-five percent of daughters and 92% of mothers were overweight/obese. Mothers tended to prefer the group format (mothers/daughters together or mothers together) for delivering a dietary and PA intervention, while the daughters' delivery preferences were mixed. Top mother/daughter dyad strategy preferences for both dietary and PA were goal setting and use of rewards/prizes.

Conclusions: These findings suggest several dietary and PA obesity intervention strategies that can guide obesity prevention efforts for African-American daughters and their mothers.

Keywords: African-American; family health; nutrition; physical activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Consumer Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diet / ethnology*
  • Diet / psychology
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Midwestern United States
  • Mother-Child Relations / ethnology
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data
  • Nuclear Family / ethnology*
  • Nuclear Family / psychology
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Overweight / ethnology
  • Overweight / prevention & control
  • Psychotherapy, Group
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data