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J Pediatr Nurs. 2011 Oct;26(5):435-45. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2010.07.009. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Parental perception of preschool child body weight.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, USA. dawn.garrett@wku.edu

Abstract

Obesity in preschoolers has risen dramatically in the last decade. Although studies have demonstrated that parents of preschoolers have incorrect perceptions of their child's body weight, little is known about the factors that may be associated with these perceptions. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between parental perceptions of preschool child body weight and parental psychosocial factors. Quantitative analyses included descriptive statistics, correlations, and regression analyses. More than one third of the children in the sample were at risk for being overweight or were already overweight. However, less than 6% of parents felt that their child had an elevated body weight. Results from univariate logistic regression analyses demonstrated that the parent's health literacy level was a significant predictor of the accuracy of their perceptions regarding their child's body weight (p < .05). Parental concern regarding child weight and perceived level of efficacy did not significantly predict the accuracy of their perceptions. Results from this study indicate that assessing parental perceptions of preschool child body weight can help providers accurately understand how parents view their children and lead to tailored educational interventions. In addition, the results support previous research suggesting that parental health literacy is a key to providing high-quality family-centered care.

PMID:
21930030
DOI:
10.1016/j.pedn.2010.07.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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