In September 2018, Amanda McClain and co-authors Kate Dickin and Jamie Dollahite published a paper on “Life course influences on food provisioning among low-income, Mexican-born mothers with young children at risk of food insecurity” in the journal “Appetite.”
Dr. McClain’s doctoral research at Cornell explored life course and ecological system influences on food provisioning among low-income, Mexican-born mothers in the U.S. to identify target influences and behaviors for interventions. Life Course Perspective and Ecological Systems Theory guided this qualitative study of women born in Mexico who had lived ≤10 years in U.S., had at least one child 5 years old or younger, and household incomes <200% of the federal poverty line. Participants completed two semi-structured interviews, including a participant-driven photo elicitation interview. Five themes emerged that were related to three key life course concepts: social context in Mexico (food insecurity experiences, agrarian experiences, and traditional foods and flavors), transitions (motherhood), and turning points (health events). All themes related to mothers’ overall priority of providing home-cooked meals, and demonstrated life course influences shaping food provisioning values and strategies.