UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Familial Environment and Overweight/Obese Adolescents’ Physical Activity Carbert, Nicole S.; Brussoni, Mariana; Geller, Josie; Mâsse, Louise C.

Abstract

(1) Background: Family environments can impact obesity risk among adolescents. Little is known about the mechanisms by which parents can influence obesity-related adolescent health behaviours and specifically how parenting practices (e.g., rules or routines) and/or their own health behaviours relate to their adolescent’s behaviours. The primary aim of the study explored, in a sample of overweight/obese adolescents, how parenting practices and/or parental modeling of physical activity (PA) behaviours relate to adolescents’ PA while examining the moderating role of parenting styles and family functioning. (2) Methods: A total of 172 parent-adolescent dyads completed surveys about their PA and wore an accelerometer for eight days to objectively measure PA. Parents completed questionnaires about their family functioning, parenting practices, and styles (authoritative and permissive). Path analysis was used for the analyses. (3) Results: More healthful PA parenting practices and parental modeling of PA were both associated with higher levels of adolescents’ self-reported moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). For accelerometer PA, more healthful PA parenting practices were associated with adolescents’ increased MVPA when parents used a more permissive parenting style. (4) Conclusions: This study suggests that parenting practices and parental modeling play a role in adolescent’s PA. The family’s emotional/relational context also warrants consideration since parenting style moderated these effects. This study emphasizes the importance of incorporating parenting styles into current familial interventions to improve their efficacy.

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CC BY 4.0

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