The Influence of Parenting and Acculturative Stress on Parental Feeding Style and Pediatric Obesity for Latino Families
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Pediatric obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. Previous research has shown that parenting factors related to stress and parental feeding style impact child BMI, and that Latino families are especially at risk for pediatric obesity and stress. The goal of the current study was to evaluate the effects of parenting and acculturative stress on the parental feeding styles of Latino parents. Parental feeding styles were then examined in relation to child BMI. Latino parents of children between the ages of 2 and 8 (N = 124) completed a survey on parenting stress, parental feeding styles, parent BMI, and demographics. Child BMI scores were collected as outcome variables. Children were predominantly male (52.4%), about 6 years old (M age in months = 59.02, SD = 23.82), and had an average BMI z-score of 0.77 (SD = 1.14). There were several important significant results found by the current study. A demanding parental feeding style was associated with lower child BMI zscores, r = -.179, p < .05. There was a trend finding that parents with an authoritative feeding style endorsed less parenting stress than parents who endorsed other feeding styles, F(3, 120) = 2.21, p = .09. Parents with uninvolved feeding style had significantly higher BMIs than parents with authoritarian feeding style, F(3, 69) = 3.38, p < .05. Parent BMI was positively associated with child BMI z-score, r = .273, p < .05. Finally, parents who did not think weight was a health concern for their children actually had children who were more overweight, F(2,111) = 3.18, p < .05. Findings from the current study can be used to inform healthcare practitioners of the need to use culturally sensitive interventions that consider parents’ stress and health experiences. Future research is warranted in the area of ethnic variations and cultural misperceptions about obesity and how it is a health epidemic.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Measures used in current study