A Qualitative Emancipatory Phenomenological Study of Childhood Obesity in the Ethnic Minority Community

A Qualitative Emancipatory Phenomenological Study of Childhood Obesity in the Ethnic Minority Community

Author: 
Joseph Franklin Aidoo
Program of study: 
D.H.A.
Abstract: 
The purpose of this qualitative emancipatory phenomenological study was to explore childhood obesity to empower stakeholders, namely parents, children, and leaders in ethnic minority communities to adopt healthy lifestyles and seek opportunities for physical activity for ethnic minority children. This study sought to identify gaps in collaboration pertaining to childhood obesity in ethnic minority communities and explore childhood obesity as a major public health concern in the United States, which has an increasing rate of obesity among children. With a signed agreement from 19 participants, the interviews gained fresh perspectives on the prevalence of childhood obesity. One of the main findings to emerge from this study was that with no access or limited access to preventive care, obesity in ethnic minority children continues to be a major problem. Lack of collaboration existing between parents, spiritual leaders, and community leaders in addressing childhood obesity also continues to be a major problem in ethnic minority communities, with no sign of a resolution. In sum, stakeholders should come together as a unified community to address childhood obesity. The study was conducted in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. Data collected from interviews with participants and analyzed with NVivo identified themes that can help inspire awareness and empower stakeholders to take action to prevent childhood obesity in ethnic minority communities. The study also validated its findings by addressing the needs of ethnic minority families with obese children and offering suggestions to empower stakeholders.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation first and foremost to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is first in my life and the source of my life and inspiration. My heartfelt appreciation to my Cohorts of the University of Phoenix for their encouragement and support throughout the program and the dissertation process. I also dedicate this dissertation to my mother, the late Sarah Araba Mamaa Amuasi, who encouraged and supported me with an expression that I truly believe, “With God all things are possible.” This dissertation is also dedicated to my beloved maternal Uncle, Dr. George Alex. Sam Amuasi, aka “Uncle Ankr” who has been challenged with ill health and still believes God is able, and once said to me that trusting in God and working hard to succeed is a goal to strive for in any endeavor. Finally, this dissertation is dedicated to my beloved wife, Abena Frimpomaa Aidoo, who believes in me and put her work and education on hold to give me all the support I needed to complete this program, and to my beautiful children, Sarah Mamaa Efua Aidoo, Eleiza Maame Saakoa Aidoo, and Franklin Afedzie Aidoo, Jr. who, although too young to realize, have encouraged and supported me all the way to achieve this milestone to the glory of God.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to acknowledge and thank my mentor, Dr. Steven Van Ginkel for his encouragement, patience, and time guiding me through the dissertation process. I would also like to thank the other members on my dissertation committee, Dr. Frank Czarny for his endurance and invaluable feedback during the process, and Dr. Christine Nortz who provided essential feedback along with her expert knowledge of the qualitative method. Special appreciation is extended to my father in-law Prof. Samuel K. Adjepong, and Dr. Doreen McNamara Everett who volunteered their time and expertise to assist with the completion of my dissertation. Special thanks to the study participants who shared their personal experiences. I am unable to list names, but their cooperation and willingness to participate in the current research is extremely appreciated. I would also like to thank the members of the Loch Raven United Methodist Church, Going His Way Bible Study Group, and St. Paul’s Ghana United Methodist Church for their encouragement, prayers, and guidance during my dissertation journey. This journey would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of my family. Heartfelt and special thanks to my beloved wife and friend Abena Frimpomaa Aidoo and my children Sarah Mamaa Efua Aidoo, Eleiza Maame Saakoa Aidoo, and Franklin Afedzie Aidoo Jr. who provided encouragement throughout my dissertation journey. Finally, I would like to thank and acknowledge my beloved mother in-law Mrs. Joyce Ewuradwua Adjepong, aka “Mommy” who supported me from beginning to end, and encouraged me to take the walk on the doctoral path. Mommy’s encouragement, prayers, calls from overseas. Her steadfast support gave me the confidence that was needed to complete this journey.