Parenting styles, child BMI, and ratings of obesigenic environments in families of children age 5-11

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Johnson, Rachel
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Gregory J. Welk
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The Department of Kinesiology seeks to provide an ample knowledge of physical activity and active living to students both within and outside of the program; by providing knowledge of the role of movement and physical activity throughout the lifespan, it seeks to improve the lives of all members of the community. Its options for students enrolled in the department include: Athletic Training; Community and Public Health; Exercise Sciences; Pre-Health Professions; and Physical Education Teacher Licensure. The Department of Physical Education was founded in 1974 from the merger of the Department of Physical Education for Men and the Department of Physical Education for Women. In 1981 its name changed to the Department of Physical Education and Leisure Studies. In 1993 its name changed to the Department of Health and Human Performance. In 2007 its name changed to the Department of Kinesiology. Dates of Existence: 1974-present. Historical Names: Department of Physical Education (1974-1981), Department of Physical Education and Leisure Studies (1981-1993), Department of Health and Human Performance (1993-2007). Related Units: College of Human Sciences (parent college), College of Education (parent college, 1974 - 2005), Department of Physical Education for Women (predecessor) Department of Physical Education for Men
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Background: The epidemic of childhood obesity is a multi-factorial problem but the child's home environment and parenting practices clearly play a role. This study evaluates the utility of a behaviorally based screening tool for evaluating practices and home environments. This study also seeks to determine if parenting styles influence parent and child environmental ratings and child Body Mass Index (BMI). Methods: 313 elementary students and 75 of their parents completed separate versions of the Family Nutrition and Physical Activity (FNPA) instrument. Parents also completed the Parenting Styles and Dimension Questionnaire (PSDQ), a 58 item survey that categorizes parenting practices into three styles: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. BMI data was obtained by trained staff. Cronbach's alpha was run to check reliability of parent and child FNPA reports. Pearson product moment correlations among the parent and child FNPA scores were used to determine overall associations and parent-child agreement. Regression analyses were used to determine if parenting styles were related to FNPA and child BMI. Cluster analysis was also used to identify patterns in the PSDQ classifications that may be associated with particularly high or low FNPA scores. Results: Correlations between child FNPA scores and parent scores were low (r = .188). Correlations between the Parent FNPA score and child BMI-z score was low (r = -.31) but statistically significant. Parents were more internally consistent in evaluating home environments. Older children were more consistent reporters than younger children. Cluster analysis revealed clear differences in associated FNPA scores. Less authoritative parenting was associated with more obesigenic environments. Less obesigenic environments were associated with authoritative parenting styles. Regression analysis shows that authoritative parenting was the best predictor of FNPA and no significant predictor was determined for child BMI. Conclusion: Parents and children differ in perceptions of their home environments and parenting style can alter parent ratings of the home environment.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2010