The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3104.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - 11:06 AM

Abstract #48340

Developing parent-focused and girl-focused obesity prevention programs for 8 to 10 year old African American girls: Formative assessment results from the University of Memphis Field Center

Bettina M. Beech, DrPH, MPH1, Shiriki K. Kumanyika, PhD, MPH2, Robert C. Klesges, PhD1, Barbara McClanahan, PhD, EdD1, Deborah Slawson, PhD1, and Cynthia Nunnally, MPH1. (1) Center for Community Health, University of Memphis, 5050 Poplar Ave, Suite 1800, Memphis, TN 38157, (901) 678-1678,, (2) Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 8th Floor Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia PA, PA 19104-6021

The need for effective models of obesity prevention tailored to align with the cultural and ethnic milieu of African American preadolescent girls has been recognized in recent years. The University of Memphis GEMS intervention approached the critical public health issue of obesity prevention in African American girls with a culturally-relevant, family-based intervention. Our Phase I formative assessment activities included the conduct of focus groups, key informant interviews and the administration of questionnaires to girls and their parents. A three-stage process was used to guide the structure of the focus groups with girls alone (n=139), parents alone (n=99), parent/child dyads (n=46) and boys alone (n=24). Stage 1 focus groups were open-ended or semi-structured. Stage 2 groups were structured to confirm selected themes and Stage 3 groups obtained reactions to proposed intervention activities and/or educational materials for the pilot intervention. Topics and domains included in the focus groups addressed the type of message(s) to be used in recruitment, child and parental attitudes and beliefs regarding obesity and healthy weight, usual eating and activity routines, body image and the perceived importance of weight and size. Focus groups were supplemented with questionnaires for girls and parents (n=198) and key informant interviews with developmental psychologists, child health, cultural and marketing experts (n=8). Findings from our formative assessment studies were instrumental in identifying activity preferences for parents and girls, family interactions, parenting styles and ways to optimize parental involvement and to build an effective intervention and enhance retention.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: African American, Weight Management

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Girls Health Enrichment Multi-site Studies

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA