Date of Award

2-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Technology

First Advisor

James L. Mohler

Committee Chair

James L. Mohler

Committee Member 1

Suranjan Panigrahi

Committee Member 2

Howard Sypher

Committee Member 3

David M. Whittinghill

Abstract

This dissertation presents the findings from three participatory focus group and co-design sessions with Caribbean transmigrant women in the United States. Informed by their focus group discussions regarding their pregnancy experiences in the United States, the participants produced design ideas that reflected on physical, emotional, informational and social gap themes. The purpose of this study was to understand the challenges affecting the women’s prenatal wellbeing practices, and to conceive a set of recommendations and opportunities for mHealth technology design to assist with prenatal preventative care and management. The study uses the theoretical concept of pregnancy ecology to identify gaps in prenatal health management, and understand participants’ reflection on these gaps through design. Then, the study identifies opportunities for mHealth and HCI research to consider designing tailored interventions to the realities of the expecting immigrant mother, including the role of transnational social support, and embracing the role of entertainment in mental health during pregnancy.