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BMC Pediatr. 2018 Sep 25;18(1):311. doi: 10.1186/s12887-018-1283-8.

How often parents make decisions with their children is associated with obesity.

Author information

1
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 S 2nd Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN, 55454, USA.
2
North Texas Primary Care Practice-Based Research Network (NorTex), University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX, 76107, USA. kimberly.fulda@unthsc.edu.
3
Department of Family Medicine, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX, 76107, USA. kimberly.fulda@unthsc.edu.
4
North Texas Primary Care Practice-Based Research Network (NorTex), University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX, 76107, USA.
5
Department of Family Medicine, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX, 76107, USA.
6
Department of Pediatrics, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX, 76107, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Evidence supports that better parental involvement and communication are related to reduced obesity in children. Parent-child collaborative decision-making is associated with lower BMI among children; while child-unilateral and parent-unilateral decision-making are associated with overweight children. However, little is known about associations between joint decision-making and obesity among Hispanic youth. The purpose of this analysis was to determine the relationship between parent-child decision making and obesity in a sample of predominantly Hispanic adolescents.

METHODS:

Data from two studies focused on risk for type II diabetes were analyzed. A total of 298 adolescents 10-14 years of age and their parent/legal guardian were included. Parents completed questionnaires related to psychosocial, family functioning, and environmental factors. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the association between obesity (≥ 95th percentile for age and gender), the dependent variable, and how often the parent felt they made decisions together with their child (rarely/never, sometimes, usually, always), the primary independent variable. Covariates included gender, age, ethnicity, total family income, and days participated in a physical activity for at least 20 min. ORs and 95% CIs were calculated.

RESULTS:

Adolescent participants were predominantly Hispanic n = 233 (78.2%), and approximately half n = 150 (50.3%) were female. In multivariate analyses, adolescents who rarely/never made decisions together with their family had significantly higher odds (OR = 3.50; 95% CI [1.25-9.83]) of being obese than those who always did. No association was observed between either those who sometimes make decisions together or those who usually did and those that always did.

CONCLUSIONS:

Parents and children not making decisions together, an essential aspect of parent-child communication, is associated with increased childhood obesity. The results of our study contribute to evidence of parental involvement in decision-making as an important determinant of adolescent health. Further studies should explore temporal relationships between parenting or communication style and obesity.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent – Parent communication; Decision making between parents and adolescents; Obesity

PMID:
30253768
PMCID:
PMC6156975
DOI:
10.1186/s12887-018-1283-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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