The Culture of Pregnancy and Infant Care in African American Women: An Ethnographic Study

Christine L. Savage, Jean Anthony, Rebecca Lee, Mary L. Kappesser, Barbara Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In Hamilton County, Ohio, the infant mortality rate for African American infants in 2002 was 18.1 per 1,000 live births compared with 14.4 for the United States. It is essential to engage community residents and leaders in identifying the underlying cultural factors contributing to this disparity. The purpose of the study was to explore the cultural contexts of prenatal and infant care practices among African American women of childbearing age living in an urban community located in Hamilton County, Ohio. This was an ethnographic community-based participatory research study. Seven participants were recruited for the study. Family support from mothers and sisters in obtaining needed resources related to pregnancy and child care emerged as the central theme. A strong family-based social network was core to the culture of pregnancy and infant care for these women. Nurses should consider developing family-centered interventions to reduce disparity in infant health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Transcultural Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • African American
  • health disparity
  • infant care
  • infant mortality
  • prenatal care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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