Degree Name

DrPH (Doctor of Public Health)


Public Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Deborah Slawson

Committee Members

Katie Baker, Joel Hillhouse, Hadii Mamudu


Introduction: Children of Black immigrant parents living in the US are at elevated risk of being overweight or obese, thus increasing their risks of morbidity and mortality as they age. Parents play a crucial role in shaping their children's nutrition through their food parenting practices, defined as behaviors or actions that affect the child's dietary habits. Three aims guided this study: (1) To examine food parenting practices among a sample of Black immigrant mothers living in Metro Atlanta using a modified Comprehensive Home Environment Survey (CHES); (2) To assess maternal knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, acculturation, and modeling in relation to food parenting practices among a sample of participants surveyed in Aim1 using focus groups; and (3) To refine the proposed Influences of Food Parenting Practices on BMI model (Model) using data collected in Aims 1 and 2. Methods: 103 Black immigrant mothers completed the CHES and 30 of them participated in four focus groups. Univariate, bivariate, and explanatory analysis was used for the survey data, and the qualitative data analysis was thematic. Results: Based on survey findings, mothers used structure the most in feeding their children, which directly influence mothers’ reports of their children’s dietary behavior and habits. Education, income, age of migration, mother’s concern for child’s weight, and child’s sex were significantly associated with the participants’ food parenting practices. Specifically, mothers with more income, more education, or who migrated before age 14 were more likely to have healthy food available and better meals routine. Focus group data analysis revealed seven major themes and six subthemes, where acculturation influenced mothers’ food parenting practices greatly. Since migrating to the US, some mothers’ nutrition changed in positive (e.g., eating more fruits) and negative ways (e.g., snacking more) because of schedules, cost, and access. Survey and focus group findings were instrumental in refining the Model by adding 5 new relationships to the proposed model. Conclusion: The results of this study provide a baseline for the food parenting practices of Black immigrant mothers in the US, and important factors (i.e., knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, acculturation, and sociodemographic) that influence their children’s dietary behavior.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Sunday, June 15, 2025

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