Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding care during pregnancy: An exploratory study of reproductive health among rural women in Southern India
by Navale, Shalini, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2015, 106; 3716724
Abstract (Summary)

Antenatal care is a proven integral component in helping reduce maternal mortality rates around the world. Women who reside in the poor, rural regions of developing countries such as India are at an increased risk for not utilizing these services due to living in resource-poor regions, lacking financial support and being influenced by social normative mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to explore and understand the role culture and social factors play in influencing the use of clinical services and taking part in traditional customs. Key constructs from the Theory of Normative Social Behavior were used to inform the theoretical framework for this study to help in understanding the role social norms play in affecting behavior. Semi-structured interviews were conducted among new mothers and their mothers/mother-in-laws/grandmothers in the southwestern region of Karnataka, India. All of the women who took part in this study resided in rural, tribal colonies and were part of the Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribe category. The participants reported that their main understanding of care for a woman during the pregnancy time period was through food consumption. They also reported the strong presence of injunctive norms influencing behaviors during the pregnancy time period than descriptive norms. This study uncovered several important cultural and social components that impact care for pregnant women. Future studies and public health efforts should, 1) focus on understanding social and generational changes and their influence on health seeking behaviors, 2) examine how an exposure to modern technology affects behavior and, 3) explore how standardization of health education may influence women’s understanding of care during the pregnancy time period.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Meyerson, Beth
Commitee: Guerra-Reyes, Lucia, Janssen, Erick, Middlestadt, Susan E.
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Public Health
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Public health
Keywords: Antenatal care, Health seeking behaviors, India, Maternal health, Social norms, Tribal health
Publication Number: 3716724
ISBN: 9781321959086
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