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Child Obes. 2015 Oct;11(5):560-8. doi: 10.1089/chi.2014.0041. Epub 2015 Aug 28.

The Relationship between Parental Behaviors and Children's Sugary Drink Consumption Is Moderated by a Television in the Child's Bedroom.

Author information

1 Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, University of Connecticut , Hartford, CT.
2 Community Alliance for Research and Engagement, Yale School of Public Health , New Haven, CT.
5 Henderson Consulting, Guilford, CT.
6 StataCorp, College Station, TX.
3 Department of Community Health and Prevention, Drexel School of Public Health , Philadelphia, PA.
4 New Haven Public Schools , New Haven, CT.



The aim of this longitudinal study was to examine the link between perceived authoritative parenting behaviors and sugary drink consumption among children from low-income families who do or do not have televisions (TVs) in their bedrooms.


Middle school students (Nā€‰=ā€‰480) completed a baseline survey in sixth grade and a follow-up survey in seventh grade. The students were recruited from 12 schools in a low-income, predominantly black (33%) and Latino (48%), urban school district. The survey assessed the children's perception of their parents' controlling and nurturing behaviors, the presence of a TV in their bedrooms, and their level of sugary drink consumption on the previous school day. Children's report of specific controlling and nurturing parental behaviors were used to create an "authoritative parenting" score. Regression analyses were used to test the main and interactive effects of authoritative parenting behaviors and having a TV in the bedroom with sugary drink consumption in seventh grade, controlling for age, race/ethnicity, gender, BMI, and sugary drink consumption in sixth grade.


A significant interaction emerged: The authoritative parenting score predicted lower levels of sugary drink consumption in seventh grade, but this relationship was moderated by whether or not there was a TV in the child's bedroom.


A TV in the child's bedroom may weaken the positive influence of authoritative parenting behaviors on limiting sugary drink consumption among middle school children from low-income families. Stronger initiatives are recommended to educate parents and help them refrain from placing TVs in their children's bedrooms.

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