Maternal responsibility for health in the household Academic Article uri icon


  • Maternal responsibility for household health is a fusion of love and labor; affective concern for health coexists with health-related activities. I examined household health production experiences from the perspective of poor women living in the southwestern United States. The responsibilities described by poor Mexican American and Anglo American women for health in their households differed along cultural lines. The Mexican American women emphasized they were responsible for cures and for caregiving beyond the nuclear household. In comparison, Anglo American women stated they were responsible for prevention and minimized their health responsibilities outside their household. Negotiation of maternal health responsibility among household members generated conflict and divisiveness. Poor and minority women's experiences expand the traditional concept of self-care.

publication date

  • January 1995