Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2014

Thesis Advisor(s)

Deborah McDonald, PhD, RN

Honors Major



Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing


Purpose: To examine the predictors associated with abnormal infant weights for lengths in the first year of life as seen in ambulatory care settings.

Data Sources: A secondary data analysis was conducted using the 2010 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), in which practitioners documented single patient visits. World Health Organization (WHO) growth charts and recommendations were used to evaluate infant weight for length. Of the total visits, 603 infants were less than one year old, and 595 infants were within the length range of the WHO growth charts. Of the 595 cases, 13.6% were underweight, 5.5% were overweight, 41.2% had diet and nutrition teaching, and 43.5% had growth and development teaching. Of the case characteristics (sex, ethnicity, race, Medicaid insurance, preventative visit, diet and nutrition teaching, growth and development teaching, and return appointment), no significant predictors were found for weight for length.

Conclusions: Providers may not be identifying overweight and underweight infants, may not be providing the added education, or may not have documented their interventions.

Implications for Practice: By examining and identifying infants either underweight or overweight at primary care visits, potential feeding difficulties or risk for childhood obesity can be corrected allowing for appropriate growth and development.