Family functioning, parent feeding practices and attitudes, and youth weight status in a Hispanic/Latino sample
Boone, Dianna Mary
MetadataShow full item record
Obesity during childhood is a serious public health problem in the United States. Although pediatric obesity prevalence rates are increasing for youth in general, research has demonstrated that Latino children are disproportionately affected by obesity. Studies examining obesity in Latino youth suggest that because family practices are a modifiable risk factor for obesity and are important in Latino culture, family factors such as family functioning and parent feeding practices need to be examined and incorporated into weight management interventions targeting Latino youth. Currently, it is not clear how family functioning coupled with parent-feeding practices affects youth weight status. Therefore, the current study examined parent-feeding practices as mediators of the relations between family functioning and child weight status using three mediation models. Additionally, the associations between parent feeding attitudes, family functioning variables, parent feeding practices, acculturation, and familismo were examined. The results demonstrated that parent feeding practices did not mediate the relations between family functioning variables and youth weight status. However, higher levels of parental restriction were significantly associated with higher youth BMI percentiles. Regression analyses also demonstrated that higher levels of acculturation to the family's Mexican culture were associated with lower levels of family cohesion. The findings of this study highlight the importance and clinical utility of focusing on family functioning and parent feeding practices in the context of weight management and pediatric obesity interventions.