Parental perspectives and experiences in relation to lifestyle-related practices in the first two years of a child’s life: A qualitative study in a disadvantaged neighborhood in the netherlands

Gülcan Bektas*, Femke Boelsma, Vivianne E. Baur, Jacob C. Seidell, S. Coosje Dijkstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The first two years of a child’s life are a critical period in preventing several lifestyle-related health problems. A qualitative study was conducted to explore parental experiences and perspectives in relation to lifestyle-related child-rearing practices in order to minimize risk factors at an early stage. Data were collected through interviews (n = 25) and focus groups (n = 4) with parents of children aged 0–2 years, in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Results showed that parents were often uncertain about a number of lifestyle-related practices. Ambiguity also appeared regarding the parents’ intentions to engage in certain practices and what they were able to achieve in everyday life. In addition, parents experienced strong sociocultural influences from their family, which interfered with their ability to make their own decisions on lifestyle-related practices. Parents also expressed a need for peer-support and confirmation of their practices. Future studies should focus on supporting parents in their parental practices during the first two years of their child’s life. Any such study should take into account the specific sociocultural context accompanying lifestyle-related parental practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5838
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Infant
  • Lifestyle-related behavior
  • Parental practices
  • Qualitative study
  • Sociocultural influence

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