An Examination of Work to Family Spillover, Family Meal Rituals, and Parenting Styles on Children's Outcome of Obesity
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Obesity has been on the rise for several decades in both children and adults. Furthermore, obesity is associated with diseases. Children's environment is suspected to affect children's eating habits and lack of exercise, but the salient aspects of children's environments are still not well understood. The present research addresses the possibility that work to family spillover may disrupt family eating patterns and children's physical activity sufficient enough to cause weight gain. Other researchers have examined the environment of the family in terms of parenting style and family rituals. This literature however has not examined the possible moderating effect of parenting styles on the effects of work to family spillover on children's obesity. The study included a cross-sectional sample of children and adolescents (n = 312) in a Houston study. Participants included both parents (if a father was present in the household) and one child aged either 9-11 or 13-15. Bivariate, multivariate, and logistic regression analyses were performed. Work to family spillover, family meal rituals and parenting styles were found to have a relationship with children obesity measures for both age groups. However, these relationships are less strong when combined into a full model. Only a mothers' work strain was associated with increased odds of having overweight children in the 9-11 age group. Although the relationship between mothers? work strain and mothers' controlling parenting style and obesity-related variables remained significant, there was no evidence that a maternal or paternal parenting style moderates the relationship between work spillover and children obesity measures. Father dinner ritual importance was associated with lower odds of having overweight children among 13-15 year old adolescents. However, findings did not support hypothesis that family meal ritual variables children eating while watching TV, mother eating while watching TV nor Father dinner ritual (all significant in the full model) moderated the positive relationship between mothers work strain and overweight, at-risk for overweight, or healthy weight children for neither age group.
Roberson, Samuel (2012). An Examination of Work to Family Spillover, Family Meal Rituals, and Parenting Styles on Children's Outcome of Obesity. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from