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Using the Health Belief Model to Understand Minority Families’ Health Behaviors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Max Buck

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created significant stressors for families in all life circumstances and belonging to all different communities. With that being recognized, families belonging to minority racial and ethnic groups are impacted the most (CDC, 2020). Within those heavily impacted families, women tend to take on the most responsibility for education and protection of other family members (Lachlan et al., 2009; Seeger, 2019; Spence et al., 2008; 2011). Extant literature does not fully capture the experience of individuals in this situation. This study takes a qualitative approach to better understand how mothers belonging to racial and ethnic minorities make decisions for their families about how to be safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our inquiry includes an investigation into how mothers of color negotiate varying expectations regarding safety precautions such as masking, social distancing, and vaccinations with other family members and with people outside of the family and how this relates to family identity. Twenty-three in-depth one-on-one interviews have been conducted with mothers who have identified as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group and have at least one child 2-11 years old. Interviews cover participants' definition of what it means for their family to be safe and healthy, communication with others about their identity as a safe and healthy family, beliefs about COVID-19, and communication about protective actions that will be taken to avoid COVID spreading within the family. Interviews were transcribed and have been analyzed using Tracy's (2020) iterative approach. Preliminary analysis affirms the utility of HBM in better understanding the health attitudes and behaviors of mothers of color and their families during COVID-19. We are currently in the process of writing up our findings and will have complete findings ready for UCUR in February. Findings are expected to provide nuanced insight into health decision-making in families of color during COVID-19 and will be of interest to public health, crisis, and risk communication scholars as well as health practitioners.
University / Institution: Utah State University
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Sydney O'Shay
Location: Union Building, COLLEGIATE ROOM (2:25pm)