This study investigates parental health literacy and parental health seeking behavior for pediatric primary care utilization as a response to childhood obesity among 220 parents from 12 Head Start and Non Head Start preschools in New Castle County, Delaware. Four paper surveys collected data with the Newest Vital Sign, STOFHL-A, a Parent Survey, and Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS). Green and Kreuter's 2005 Precede-Proceed model is applied to an original logical model for determining a need for a preschool health literacy intervention to inform better child health outcomes. Results indicate that low-income, minority families, have fewer health books at home, which is associated with lower parental health literacy, higher child BMI, and more health care referrals for managing childhood obesity. Nutritional health literacy scores are lower among Hispanic parents who are Head Start participants. Black parents who are Head Start participants had significantly lower parent functional health literacy. Head Start programs offer more parent health education and twice the rate of referrals for the same level of health seeking behavior as Non Head Start parents. Health seeking behavior was lower overall for Black parents from the Head Start program. Further study should explore cultural notions and family characteristics associated with lower pediatric health care utilization in relation to both health literacy scores and health care referrals.
|Commitee:||Hustedt, Jason, Rich, Daniel, Setiloane, Kelebogile, Yanich, Danilo|
|School:||University of Delaware|
|Department:||Urban Affairs and Public Policy|
|School Location:||United States -- Delaware|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education, Public policy, Health education|
|Keywords:||Early childhood education, Health literacy, Health seeking behavior, Pediatrics, Poverty, Public policy|
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