Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dawn Wilson

Abstract

This study examined the effects of parental feeding practices and adolescent emotional eating (EE) on dietary outcomes among overweight African American adolescents. Based on Family Systems Theory, it was hypothesized that parental feeding practices, such as parental monitoring and responsibility, would buffer the effects of EE on poor dietary quality, whereas practices such as concern about a child’s weight, restriction, and pressure-to-eat would exacerbate this relationship. Adolescents (N = 127; Mage = 12.83 ۫.74; MBMI % = 96.61 ± 4.14) provided baseline data from the Families Improving Together (FIT) for a Weight Loss trial and an ancillary study. Dietary outcomes (fruit and vegetables (F&Vs), energy intake, sweetened beverage, total fat, and saturated fat) were assessed using random 24-h dietary recalls. Validated surveys were used to assess adolescent-reported EE and parental feeding practices. Results demonstrated a significant interaction between EE and parental monitoring (adjusted analyses; B = 0.524, SE = 0.176, p = 0.004), restriction (B = −0.331, SE = 0.162, p = 0.043), and concern (B = −0.602, SE = 0.171, p = 0.001) on F&V intake; under high monitoring, low restriction, and low concern, EE was positively associated with F&V intake. There were no significant effects for the other dietary outcomes. These findings indicate that parental feeding practices and EE may be important factors to consider for dietary interventions, specifically for F&V intake, among overweight African American adolescents.

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