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J Pediatr Psychol. 2008 Aug;33(7):783-8. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsn016. Epub 2008 Feb 27.

Child versus parent report of parental influences on children's weight-related attitudes and behaviors.

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  • 1Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School/Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, 133 Brookline Ave., 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02215, USA.



To compare parent and child report of parental weight-related behaviors and examine their respective associations with child's weight-related outcomes.


Seventy-three parent-child dyads completed self-administered surveys that assessed parent and child report of parental direct weight-related behaviors (comments to child about weight, encourage child to diet) and indirect behaviors (dieting, comments about own weight/appearance). Outcome variables included child's body dissatisfaction, weight concerns, and dieting.


Considerable disagreement (21-30%) was found between parent and child report of parental weight-related behaviors. Both the parent and child report of direct parental behaviors were associated with child's outcomes. Child report of parental indirect behaviors was more consistently associated with child's outcomes than parent report.


Parent weight-related behaviors, both direct and indirect, are positively associated with child's weight-related attitudes and behaviors.

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