A Parent-Focused Intervention to Increase Parent Health Literacy and Healthy Lifestyle Choices for Young Children and Families.
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Health literacy affects caregivers' ability to engage in preventive health care behaviors for themselves and their children. Studies suggest that health literacy among low income families needs improvement, and this possibly contributes to disparities in preventive health care rates. Additionally, parents and caregivers may not be able to provide or seek preventive health care for their children because of lack of knowledge and skills to do so effectively. This study designed and piloted an intervention that delivered to parents of young children, 1) health literacy information in an experiential manner, and 2) practical skills to engage their families in healthy lifestyle choices, with the decisions for healthy lifestyle choices being based on the health knowledge provided in the intervention. Specifically, the intervention focused on diet/nutrition, physical activity, sleep hygiene, parenting skills, and mental wellness. The intervention was successful at improving diet/nutrition knowledge at least one month post-intervention and more immediate changes were found for participants' overall beliefs about diet/nutrition, children's vegetable consumption, and parents' fruits and vegetable consumption. Immediate improvements were also found for factual knowledge about physical activity, sleep, and the relationship between mental health and stress. Additionally, the intervention was successful at improving general knowledge and beliefs about sleep, knowledge about the relationship between sleep and health, and knowledge about common childhood sleep problems at least one month post-intervention. The intervention also reduced participants' bedtime interactions with children that are indicative of sleep problems at least one month post-intervention. Future research should conceptualize the intervention as a multiple health behavior intervention and reflect this in the evaluation.
healthy lifestyle choices
Fleary, Sasha (2012). A Parent-Focused Intervention to Increase Parent Health Literacy and Healthy Lifestyle Choices for Young Children and Families.. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from