Parental Concerns of Mexican American First-Time Mothers and Fathers


Address correspondence to Kathleen J. Niska, C.S.J., Ph.D., M.P.H., B.S.N., B.A., 726 Second Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.


Abstract The purpose of the study was to identify the parental concerns of Mexican American first-time mothers and fathers using an ethnographic approach. The study was conducted for 10 months in Hidalgo County, Texas. Twenty-six families were followed longitudinally during their first 6 months of parenting with an average of eight (SD= 1.8) home visits per family. Audio-taped conversations with participants were transcribed verbatim in their entirety in either Spanish or English. Spanish transcripts were translated and checked for accuracy by a local consultant. Salient parental concerns derived from content analysis were infant illness, providing for the material needs of the infant, threats infants face in the future, knowing how to rear an infant, and facing job loss. Public health nurses can collaborate with parents by working from expressed concerns to enhance family health and the health of the local community.