Diana Cartagena, a Ph.D. candidate, and Suzanne Ameringer, Ph.D., RN, assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Health Nursing, won the Gamma Omega Nurse Researcher/Nurse Clinician Partnership Grant award presented by Sigma Theta Tau. The award aims to further nursing knowledge building through the development of evidence-based practice in the clinical setting.

As a clinician and doctoral student, Cartagena is seeking to identify important maternal feeding practices and other multidimensional factors that drive infant overfeeding in Latina mothers and identify factors associated with infant overweight.

Ameringer said Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is expected this month. The study will involve recruiting over a six-month period 90 immigrant Latino mothers who have an infant four to12 months of age. Study participants will be recruited from the Child Development Resources (CDR) of Williamsburg and the peninsula Women, Infants and Children (WIC) offices. The mothers will be asked to complete a one to two-hour interview on infant feeding practices.

Study findings could be used to develop screening tools for use in clinical practice to assess infants at risk for rapid weight gain and could guide the development of a culturally appropriate intervention designed to promote healthy infant feeding practices and decrease infant overfeeding commonly seen among Latina mothers.

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