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West J Nurs Res. 2007 Apr;29(3):284-300.

Health behaviors of low-income pregnant minority women.

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School of Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 3601 4th Street, Lubbock, TX, USA.


Preventive and health promoting behaviors in pregnant minority women can be used to develop approaches to encourage healthy lifestyle and optimal utilization of health services, and to obtain better outcomes of pregnancy. Using the Health Promotion Model as a theoretical framework, this study employed a cross-sectional survey design to investigate factors that related to health behaviors of low-income pregnant Mexican American and African American women in selected sites in the southeast portion of the state of Texas. Results showed that Mexican American women had a significantly higher mean on the Powerful Others Locus of Control measure than the African American women. For African American subjects, the strongest effect was exerted by the social support variable, which had a negative effect on the health behavior variable. Findings suggest that more studies are needed to identify specific determinants of health promoting activities during pregnancy in ethnic minority groups. Designing programs that would motivate early involvement of low-income pregnant minority women in health care should be a top priority for professionals in maternity practice.

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