Online Program

EBaby Phase II Results: Use of Online/Other Infant Care Resources among Minority Teen/Young Mothers in Rural Mississippi

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Kathleen Ragsdale, MA, PhD, Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS
M. Maya McDoom, PhD, MPH, Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, Starkville,, MS
Sydney K. Harper, MS, CHES, University of Alabama-Huntsville, Huntsville, AL
Background: Infant feeding behaviors have been linked to development of childhood overweight/obesity, a national public health concern that disproportionately affects resource-limited minority populations. Methods: eBaby Phase II is a multimethods study to explore factors that influence infant feeding behaviors among resource-limited minority teen/young mothers—including their use of online resources. The sample (N=53) includes minority (100%), never-married (93%), primiparous (68%) mothers ages 17-25 years recruited at Early Head Start Centers in rural Mississippi. Results: Ninety-eight percent have a cell/smartphone, 71% typically use their cellphone to go online, and 72% go online daily. Ninety-four percent are comfortable going online and 81% are likely to go online daily to visit Facebook (81%), Google (62%), Twitter (42%), Instagram (42%), and YouTube (38%). Among the 74% who access online infant care resources, the most-often specified sites include BabyCenter (19%), WebMD (9%), Gerber (9%), and Parents (8%). Ninety-one percent would sign-up to receive infant care resources via texts if the service was free, 83% if covered by insurance, and 25% if fee-based. Other preferred resources included healthcare providers (45%), family members (32%), WIC specialists (26%), and friends (15%). In the past four weeks, participants most often talked about infant feeding with their mothers (28%), healthcare providers (19%), boyfriends/partners (17%), or no one (15%). Although nearly one-third of participants reported that their mothers (32%), grandmothers (30%), and boyfriends/partners (28%) were “extremely supportive,” 43% never attempted breastfeeding. Discussion: Mobile-responsive resources to optimize breastfeeding/other infant feeding among rural minority teen/young mothers are promising, given their high online engagement.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe results of a study to explore online engagement among low-resource African American and other minority teen/young mothers in rural Mississippi. Identify the sample’s use of online and other infant care resources. Discuss potential of mobile-responsive resources to optimize breastfeeding and other infant feeding behaviors among minority teen/young mothers in rural areas, given this population’s high online engagement.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted international and domestic research on the social determinants of health among minority/vulnerable populations for over 15 years. Research areas include nutrition education, infant health, eHealth interventions, teen pregnancy prevention, CBPR, and program evaluation. My publications have appeared in journals such as Journal of School Health, and Journal of Community Health, Social Science & Medicine, Sexuality Research & Social Policy, Journal of Sex Research, and Case Studies in Strategic Communication.
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.