A recent incident involving a shocked first-year pediatric resident who observed a black teenage mother chewing part of a tuna sandwich and feeding the resultant "mush" to her 8-month-old infant stimulated us to look for documentation of various child-rearing practices that were familiar to us from our work with mothers of various ethnic groups.

There is ample literature describing cultural beliefs about disease causation and cure; however, we could find little that described day-to-day parenting behaviors. We surveyed 68 black child care providers in Omaha, concerning their knowledge and use of child-rearing practices for infants (Table).


A questionnaire approved by the University of Nebraska Medical Center Institutional Review Board was administered nonrandomly to black care givers by personnel in our pediatric clinics or by public health nurses during home visits.

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