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Nan DouFollow



Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Cambodian immigrants have become a large population group in the United States since late 1970s. Traditional heath practices and alcohol consumption during pregnancy and lactation have both been associated with risks of maternal and child health in previous research. However, these associations have never been investigated in the Cambodian immigrant population. The mechanism for the potential interaction is that the traditional health practice, the use of sraa t’nam, which is an alcohol concoction usually consumed during postpartum period, may increase risks for both mothers and children. Sraa t’nam is the traditional alcohol and drinking alcohol during pregnancy and while lactation is not recommended. This study examined the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of traditional health practices among Cambodian women aged between 15-35 years old living in Massachusetts. Health insurance, acculturation and food security scores were not independently associated with the dependent variable. The odds of ‘ever used sraa t’nam’ were higher (OR 1.67, CI 1.10, 2.51, p<0.05) with every one unit or one person increase in household size, after adjusting for covariates. Similarly, women with at least one child had a 4.54 odds (CI 1.24, 16.5) of reporting that they 'ever used psraa t’nam’ compared to women with no children (p<0.05) U.S.-born women (OR 0.12, CI 0.02, 0.83, p<0.05) and those with more than a high school education (OR 0.13, CI 0.02, 0.71, p<0.05) had lower odds of having 'ever used (psraa t’nam’. Age was independently associated with having ‘ever used sraa t’nam’ (OR 1.32, CI 1.01, 1.74, p<0.05); for every year older, the odds of ever using sraa t’nam increased by 0.32 units. In summary, women who lived in larger households, had at least one child, were foreign-born, had less education, or were older in age had higher odds of reporting that they had ‘ever used sraa t’nam’. Univariate analyses tested for associations between intention to breastfeed, age, smoking status, and intention to use sraa t’nam. Age was positively associated with the intention to breastfeed (OR=1.26, p<0.05), and smoking was also positively associated with the intention to breastfeed (OR=4.81, p<0.05).