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Obes Rev. 2017 Mar;18(3):281-292. doi: 10.1111/obr.12497. Epub 2017 Jan 13.

Parenting styles and body mass index: a systematic review of prospective studies among children.

Author information

1
Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
2
Population Science, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
3
Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Parenting style may be an important determinant of an individual's future weight status. However, reviews that evaluate the relationship between parenting style and weight-related outcomes have not focused on prospective studies.

METHODS:

We systematically searched PubMed, Embase and PsychInfo for studies published between 1995 and 2016 that evaluated the prospective relationship between parenting style experienced in childhood and subsequent weight outcomes.

RESULTS:

We identified 11 prospective cohort studies. Among the eight studies that categorized parenting style into distinct groups (i.e. authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and neglectful), five provided evidence that authoritative parenting was associated with lower body mass index gains. Among the six highest quality studies, four suggested a protective role of authoritative parenting style against adverse weight-related outcomes. However, only one study controlled for a comprehensive set of confounders, and the small number of studies conducted within certain age groups precluded our ability to ascertain critical periods when parenting style is most strongly related to child weight.

CONCLUSIONS:

The present literature supports the idea that authoritative parenting may be protective against later overweight and obesity, although findings are mixed. More prospective cohort studies of longer durations, with more sophisticated methods that examine age-varying relationships, and that control for a comprehensive set of confounders, are needed.

KEYWORDS:

Children; dietary intake; obesity; parenting style

PMID:
28086262
PMCID:
PMC5436909
[Available on 2018-03-01]
DOI:
10.1111/obr.12497
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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