Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
Dawn K. Wilson
Despite substantial research and concern, adolescent overweight and obesity continues to be a significant public health problem. Theory based on developmental literature emphasizes the role of adolescent self-regulatory factors, like self-efficacy, in health behavior engagement and weight-related outcomes. There is also extensive literature that highlights parents’ role in promoting self-regulatory development through warm and responsive behaviors and practices. However, few studies have considered longitudinal associations and changes in weight-related outcomes over time, as well as moderated effects by parenting. This study assessed longitudinal associations between adolescent self-efficacy parenting factors and adolescent BMI, diet, and family mealtime to fill gaps in current literature. It was hypothesized that greater improvements in adolescent self-efficacy would be associated with greater improvements over time on adolescent weight-related outcomes (improved zBMI, increases in fruit and vegetable intake, decreases in fat intake and kilocaloric intake, and improvements in family mealtime). Moreover, it was hypothesized that increases in warm, responsive parenting (more responsive, greater responsibility) would be associated with greater improvements over time in adolescent BMI, diet, and family mealtime outcomes. Conversely, increases in parental demandingness and monitoring were hypothesized to be associated with less desirable BMI, diet, and family mealtime outcomes over time. A second aim of this study was to investigate the moderating effects of parenting factors on adolescent self-efficacy in predicting adolescent zBMI, diet, and mealtime related outcomes. It was hypothesized hat increases in responsive parenting (responsiveness, parental responsibility) would be related to a more positive association between self-efficacy and adolescent healthier outcomes, while more demanding parenting (demandingness, parental monitoring) would be related to a negative association between self-efficacy and adolescent BMI, diet, and family mealtime outcomes over time. This study used longitudinal data from families enrolled in the Families Improving Together (FIT) for Weight Loss trial (n = 241; Madolescent age = 12.83 years; 64% female; MBMI% = 96.6%) to test these associations and interactions from baseline to 16-weeks. The hypotheses for the study were only partially supported. There were no significant associations between adolescent self-efficacy and weight-related outcomes. Significant main effects demonstrated temporal stability of some variables. Parental responsiveness was positively related to kCal (Estimate=127.37, SE = 63.65, p<0.05) and fat intake (Estimate=6.15, SE = 2.46, p<0.01), which was contrary to the hypothesized direction. However, as expected, parental responsiveness was positively associated with frequency of family meals (Coefficient=0.43, SE = 0.10, p<0.01) and parental responsibility was positively associated with quality of family meals (Coefficient=0.35, SE = .18, p<0.05). Significant two-way interactions with time were also found. Parental responsibility over time was related to zBMI in an unexpected direction (Estimate=0.09, SE = 0.02, p<0.01), and parental monitoring over time was related to zBMI in an unexpected direction (Estimate=-0.10, SE = 0.02, p<0.01). However, parental responsiveness (Coefficient=0.16, SE = 0.08, p=0.04) and parental demandingness (Coefficient=-0.25, SE = 0.08, p<0.01) both predicted quality of family mealtime over time in the expected direction. Results also indicated three significant three-way interactions that were in unexpected directions. Specifically, three-way interactions between adolescent self-efficacy, time, and parental demandingness on kCal intake (Estimate=62.83, SE = 28.13, p<0.05) and fat intake (Estimate=3.09, SE = 1.09, p<0.01) revealed unexpected findings, such that self-efficacy was associated with greater kCal/fat intake among adolescents with parents who practiced low demandingness and lower kCal/fat intake among those with parents who practiced high demandingness. Additionally, there was a significant three-way interaction between adolescent self-efficacy, time, and parental responsibility for their adolescent’s diet in predicting frequency of family meals (Estimate=0.12, SE =0.04, p<0.01), such that lower self-efficacy was associated with more frequent family meals for adolescents with highly responsible parents during baseline (0-weeks) and post-group (8-weeks). Results from this study may provide directions for future research and have implications for adolescent overweight/obesity prevention and interventions through family-based programs.
Loncar, H. M.(2023). Effects of Parenting and Self-Efficacy on Diet, Family Mealtime and Weight-Related Outcomes in African American Adolescents. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/7468