Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 778–786 | Cite as

The Effects of Hispanic Immigrant Mother’s Resiliency on Children’s Dietary Adjustment

  • Elizabeth VillegasEmail author
  • Angela Wiley
  • Bridget Hannon
  • Margarita Teran-Garcia
  • Amber Hammons
Original Paper


This study explored the adjustment phase of the resiliency model of family adjustment and adaptation, particularly how stress and food insecurity interact with protective mechanisms to influence children’s dietary adjustment. With increasing rates of Hispanic childhood obesity and disproportionate health disparities, this is an issue that must be better understood. Altogether, 137 Mexican immigrant mothers from Illinois and California completed questionnaires reporting their stressors, protective mechanisms, and family health behaviors. Multiple regression analyses revealed that higher perceived stress levels for mothers predicted non-nutritive snacking reasons. Furthermore, mother’s dietary patterns predicted child’s poor dietary quality. Taken together, maternal stressors play a role in family health behaviors, and future studies should consider household food environment factors when trying to understand protective mechanisms for families.


Hispanic health Perceived stress Family resiliency model 



This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Award Number 2015-60001-23246. The authors acknowledge undergraduate research members of the Abriendo Caminos Research Lab team in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at UIUC, who contributed to this project through data collection and program implementation. We gratefully acknowledge our participants who made this study possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesUniversity of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  3. 3.Department of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Child and Family ScienceCalifornia State University, FresnoFresnoUSA

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