Date of Award
Master of Science
Gregory J. Welk
Background: The epidemic of childhood obesity is a multi-factorial problem but the child's home environment and parenting practices clearly play a role. This study evaluates the utility of a behaviorally based screening tool for evaluating practices and home environments. This study also seeks to determine if parenting styles influence parent and child environmental ratings and child Body Mass Index (BMI). Methods: 313 elementary students and 75 of their parents completed separate versions of the Family Nutrition and Physical Activity (FNPA) instrument. Parents also completed the Parenting Styles and Dimension Questionnaire (PSDQ), a 58 item survey that categorizes parenting practices into three styles: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. BMI data was obtained by trained staff. Cronbach's alpha was run to check reliability of parent and child FNPA reports. Pearson product moment correlations among the parent and child FNPA scores were used to determine overall associations and parent-child agreement. Regression analyses were used to determine if parenting styles were related to FNPA and child BMI. Cluster analysis was also used to identify patterns in the PSDQ classifications that may be associated with particularly high or low FNPA scores. Results: Correlations between child FNPA scores and parent scores were low (r = .188). Correlations between the Parent FNPA score and child BMI-z score was low (r = -.31) but statistically significant. Parents were more internally consistent in evaluating home environments. Older children were more consistent reporters than younger children. Cluster analysis revealed clear differences in associated FNPA scores. Less authoritative parenting was associated with more obesigenic environments. Less obesigenic environments were associated with authoritative parenting styles. Regression analysis shows that authoritative parenting was the best predictor of FNPA and no significant predictor was determined for child BMI. Conclusion: Parents and children differ in perceptions of their home environments and parenting style can alter parent ratings of the home environment.
Rachel Rae Johnson
Johnson, Rachel Rae, "Parenting styles, child BMI, and ratings of obesigenic environments in families of children age 5-11" (2010). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 11623.