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Parenting styles, peer influences, and adolescent cardiovascular disease risk factors
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Parenting and friendship styles were examined as indicators for obesity and risk of cardiovascular disease in 54 Texas adolescents. This study investigated the relationship between parental and peer influences on obesity and activity levels and risk of cardiovascular disease in adolescents. Specific parenting styles that may pose greater risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease in adolescents were described. Participants responded to the 1993 Texas A&M University Texas Adolescent Nutrition and Family Structure Survey. The questionnaire was used to evaluate teen attitudes toward exercise, nutrition, and health. The questionnaire addressed family and peer influences, including parent and peer controls, rewards, and punishments. The adolescent questionnaire was used to evaluate issues relating to parent and peer influences on eating habits, activity and exercise, and determine the teens' health status, nutrition knowledge, and risk of cardiovascular disease risk factors. This study suggested that there are some strong relationships between parenting styles and adolescent health. The comforting maternal parent provides a protective function against cardiovascular disease for both adolescent boys and girls in this study. The overprotective mother had a deleterious effect on adolescent cardiovascular health for all subjects in this study while mothers with high expectations, indulgent mothers and controlling mothers were associated with negative health outcomes for male subjects. The involved father and the controlling father suggested some protective function against cardiovascular disease risk factors for boys in this study. The overprotective father and the father who shames his children were associated with negative health outcomes with both the boys and girls in this study. Authoritative parenting is generally considered the preferred style by researchers; children of authoritative homes have greater academic achievement and fewer deviant behaviors. The findings in this study only partially support this style with regard to cardiovascular health benefits. Autocratic parenting showed the greatest cardiovascular risk factors for boys, which was similar to psychosocial literature which finds this parenting style particularly harmful for boys. Indulgent parenting showed inconsistent cardiovascular effects. Given the frequency and costs associated with heart disease, parenting and friendship styles as potential cardiovascular risk factors should be further explored.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 196-205).
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Tramm, Amy Bishop (2000). Parenting styles, peer influences, and adolescent cardiovascular disease risk factors. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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