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Gamo families of southern, rural, Ethiopia live in harsh environments and may experience times of food insecurity (FI). While FI is a household level measurement, perceptions and experiences related to the condition may be viewed differently between Gamo spouses due to various sociocultural norms.
To explore potential differences in perceptions and experiences of FI between Gamo mothers and fathers.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with Gamo dyads (n = 33) of mothers and fathers exploring parental perceptions and experiences related to various environmental factors, including household FI.
Using a basic inductive analytical framework, two coders used an iterative, data-driven analysis process to independently apply codes to transcripts within NVivo. Next, the coders applied discourse analysis tools including I and we statements, and position design and identity building to transcripts. Code frequencies were calculated, and coding matrices and hierarchal charts were developed to inform direct content analysis.
Over 75% of participating mothers and fathers (n = 25 dyads) agreed on household food security status with their spouse, while the remaining 8 dyads disagreed. Of those 25 dyads in agreement, n = 21 reported some indication of FI. While both mothers and fathers reported various FI-related barriers and coping strategies, fathers used I statements (n = 29 statements) more often to describe their FI experiences compared to we statements (n = 8 statements). The frequency of I and we statements among mothers did not differ.
High rates of perceived FI were noted among the participating Gamo families. In some cases, intra-household FI experiences varied between mothers and fathers. With the differences in discourse related to FI noted between genders in this study, interventions and policies aimed to improve this household-level condition among Gamo families may need to include gender-specific elements tailored to the differing perceptions and experiences of barriers to and coping strategies for achieving a food secure home.
Wenner Gren Research Grant.
© 2022 Published by Elsevier Inc.