AuthorNichols, Lee Anne.
KeywordsFamilies -- History.
Committee ChairReed, Pamela
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to identify the process of providing care to infants among Oklahoma Cherokee mothers. American Indian infants are one of the most vulnerable populations in the United States, thus making them more vulnerable to the care they receive. American Indian mothers have cultural differences that influence the care they provide to their infants. Given the dearth of knowledge about this process and its significance to the health and well-being of American Indian children and perhaps other children, a qualitative grounded theory method was used to build scientific knowledge in this area. Northeastern Oklahoma Cherokee mothers who had an infant less than two years of age comprised the sample pool. Informants were selected according to the process of "theoretical sampling." Nineteen informants were interviewed over a three month time period. Data were also obtained through participant observation. These interviews and observations provided the data for analysis. The audio-taped interviews were transcribed, and then analyzed using the technique of "constant comparative analysis," consistent with grounded theory. A social process of Indian infant care among Cherokee mothers was identified. Eight concepts emerged from data analysis. The first and principal concept, Being a Cherokee Mother, described the functions of being an Indian mother in Cherokee society. The seven other concepts describe the patterns of cultural care the mothers provided to their infants. These concepts were: Accommodating Everyday Infant Care, Accommodating Health Perspectives, Building a Care-Providing Consortium, Living Spiritually, Merging the Infant into Indian Culture, Using Non-Coercive Discipline Techniques, and Vigilantly Watching for the Natural Unfolding of the Infant. Trustworthiness and credibility of the findings were established. Knowledge gained from this study may enable nursing professionals to become culturally competent in providing care that promotes the health practices of Cherokee mothers as they then provide care for their infants. Culturally sensitive nursing care provided to Cherokee families will be enhanced.