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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Margaret Hegge


non-insulin dependent diabetes prevention, health and hygiene of Indian children, nutrition of Indian children, health behavior in children


The incidence Non insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM) is rising among most American Indian tribes. This disease has become so prevalent in American Indians since 1950 that is has assumed epidemic status. The Winnebago tribe in Northeastern Nebraska is one of the tribes experiencing this disease in epidemic proportions. Given the chronic nature of this disease and the severity of the complications it is important for American Indian communities to develop strategies for the prevention of NIDDM.
The purpose of this study was to describe ideas, health beliefs and traditions of parents, of children at high risk, in order to design culturally sensitive interventions for the prevention of NIDDM. Leininger's theory of Culture Care and ethnonursing methodologies were used in this study to gain greater understanding and meaning of American Indians daily life experiences.
A focus group technique, was utilized in this study to. a) facilitate a discussion of perceptions and beliefs of American Indian participants, and b) to begin to design culturally sensitive strategies for weight reduction and increased physical activity in high risk American Indian children. All of the parents/guardians of children with acanthosis nigricans (AN) were invited to participate. Eight focus group participants, seven female and one male, were able to attend one of the three scheduled session.
A transcript based, qualitative analysis approach was utilized to interpret the data. While this was primarily a qualitative study, evidence of quantitative indicators such as proportions and ratios were included. Family activities and food patterns and the relationship of these two concepts to each other, in American Indian life-styles, were identified to help the nursing researcher to understand American Indian culture and tradition. This has important implications for designing and implementing health education interventions. Strategies for lifestyle modification already being utilized by American Indians, ideas for further intervention strategies and potential barriers to their success were identified in this study. This information can now be utilized to implement these interventions to prevent diabetes in children, while striving to maintain traditional beliefs.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Non-insulin-dependent diabetes -- Prevention
Indian children -- Health and hygiene
Indian children -- Nutrition
Health behavior in children



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1996 Michelle Hanson. All rights reserved