Parenting style and older children's and young adolescents' dietary intake and nutritional status
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While parenting style and its relevant dimensions have long been studied in the area of child development, studies on the effects of perceived parenting behaviors on childrenÃ¢ÂÂs/adolescentsÃ¢ÂÂ nutritional health status have been largely neglected. The present study examined whether perceived parenting style and its dimensions are associated with older childrenÃ¢ÂÂs/young adolescentsÃ¢ÂÂ health outcomes, including self-concept, eating behaviors, physical activity behaviors, energy and nutrient intake, and body measurements. This study placed a distinct emphasis on gender differences by exploring the effects of maternal and paternal parenting behaviors on male versus female subjectsÃ¢ÂÂ health outcomes in separate analyses. In addition, this study extended the investigation of the roles family meal behaviors play in an environment in which general parenting behaviors exert their impact on childrenÃ¢ÂÂs/adolescentsÃ¢ÂÂ health. Sources of insight from nutrition, psychology, and sociology contributed to this holistic examination of childrenÃ¢ÂÂs/adolescentsÃ¢ÂÂ health. The study subjects included 123 children (9-11 years old) and 106 adolescents (13-15 years old). Data were obtained through survey questionnaires, dietary recall and records, and anthropometry. Various statistical methods were employed in this study, including multiple regression analysis, cluster analysis, factor analysis, and path analysis. Findings of this study confirmed that an authoritative style is more desirable for study subjectsÃ¢ÂÂ health outcomes, compared with a non-authoritative style. Generally, maternal/paternal nurturing appeared to be desirable, but maternal/paternal control was an undesirable predictor of youth health, while the subjectsÃ¢ÂÂ age (9-11 versus 13-15 years) and gender played critical roles in the associations. Family meal behaviors appeared to be significant predictors of youth health outcomes. Findings from path analysis suggested that the effects of maternal/paternal nurturing/control on the subjectsÃ¢ÂÂ health outcomes are mediated by family meal behaviors. Perception that family dinner meals are family rituals turned out to be the most important mediator of the relationship between maternal/paternal nurturing and the subjectsÃ¢ÂÂ health outcomes. Of interest, lack of food pressure by parents appeared to be detrimental to eating behaviors and essential nutrient intake of study subjects. Finally, this study showed that fathers play positive roles in improving male/female subjectsÃ¢ÂÂ as well as childrenÃ¢ÂÂs/adolescentsÃ¢ÂÂ health outcomes, especially their physical activity behaviors and self-concept.
Kim, Mi Jeong (2003). Parenting style and older children's and young adolescents' dietary intake and nutritional status. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from