Online Program

Effects of transnationalism on breast feeding practices among brazilian immigrant women

Monday, November 4, 2013

Franci DaLuz, Undergraduate Student, Psychology, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA
Patricia Buzelli, Undergraduate College Student, Psychology and Gaston Institute, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA
The study of transnationalism and its potential effects on maternal breastfeeding practices is crucial for improving both infant and maternal health globally as well as assisting professionals to better serve transnational communities locally. Brazilian immigrants are a burgeoning population in the Greater Boston area, making up the largest group of foreign nationals living in Massachusetts (US Census Bureau, 2008-2010 report). Brazilian immigrants have been shown to be transnationals, since they maintain native cultural practices while acquiring new practices from their host culture (Mitchell, 2003; McDonnell and deLourenco, 2008). Little is known, however, about how transnationalism affects breastfeeding practices.So far, studies have shown that higher acculturation (or cultural assimilation) in Latina immigrants predicts lower use of breastfeeding practices (i.e. intent and continuation of breastfeeding; Sussner, Lindsay and Peterson, 2007; Vaugh et al., 2010).To investigate whether or not transnationalism plays a similar role to acculturation, I will analyze self-report data collected from bilingual interviews with Brazilian immigrant mothers living in Massachusetts.This study will analyze how time in the US, language spoken at home, maternal education, household income, mother's age, and use of transnational practices (e.g. frequency of communication with native community, frequency of financial and political involvement with local native community and host community, and newly acquired and sustained parenting practices) impacts breastfeeding practices in this population.It is hypothesized that Brazilian immigrant mothers will be more likely than other Latina immigrant mothers to maintain their native cultural breastfeeding practices overtime.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe how transntionalism may impact breastfeeding practices of Brazilian Immigrant Women living in the US.

Keyword(s): Breastfeeding

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently supervised by Fernanda Lucchese, a Candidate in Clinical Psychology Doctorate, who specializes in transnationalism, maternal health, and mother-infant interactions. I am also mentored by Dr. Ester Shapiro who is an expert in Women's health and cultural factors at UMass Boston.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.