Using Social Marketing to Understand the Family Dinner with Working Mothers.

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social marketing, family dinner, focus group, working mothers

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The family dinner is a valued tradition that affords opportunities for social interaction and attachment, as well as sharing events of the day, role modeling, connectedness, and problem solving. Guided by the social-marketing framework, this study explored factors associated with the frequency of the family dinner among working mothers with children ages 8-11 years. A qualitative design was used, employing focus groups and Atlas-ti software for thematic analysis. Lack of time, cost, and exhaustion/lack of energy emerged as barriers. Working mothers indicated that a youth-based organization operating as a community partner could increase the frequency of the family dinner by helping with homework completion during after-school care, thereby providing mothers with the time necessary to prepare dinner. This research identified both community partners and working mothers as valued resources for prevention strategies. Interventions developed to increase family dinner frequency should emphasize the perceived value while decreasing the costs/barriers.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Ecology of Food and Nutrition, v. 49, issue 6, p. 431-451