Health Orientation, Beliefs, and Use of Health Services Among Minority, High-risk Expectant Mothers


  • Cecilia Dawkins Ph.D., R.N.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cecilia Dawkins is an Assistant Professor and Assistant Research Scientist in Community Health Nursing, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Naomi Ervin Ph.D., R.N.,

    1. Naomi Ervin is an Assistant Professor in Public Health Nursing at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois.
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  • Lisa Weissfeld Ph.D.,

    1. Lisa Weissfeld is an Assistant Professor in Bio statistics at the School of Public Health, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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  • Alice Yan M.S.

    1. Alice Yan is a Research Associate in the School of Nursing, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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  • This work was supported by grant 5-R01-NR01286-03 from the National Center for Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health. The authors are grateful for the cooperation of the Chicago Department of Health. The article is based on a paper presented by Dawkins and Ervin at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 1986.

Address correspondence to Cecilia Dawkins, The University of Michigan, 400 N. Ingalls Bldg., Ann Arbor, MI 48109.


This article reports on initial findings of a continuing longitudinal study investigating the relationships of health beliefs as conceptualized by the health belief model and the use of well-baby services among first-time black mothers. The health beliefs of mothers about their babies were measured before the babies were born and during their use of the services at the baby's first and sixth-month visits. Mothers in the sample who became nonusers of the well-baby services were also interviewed. This report describes the results of the first interview of the 662 females who composed the sample for the study, including the following characteristics of a minority, high-risk population: health orientation, health beliefs about their unborn babies, and use of health services. These findings are discussed with implications for community health nursing practice with maternal clients.