A Qualitative Study to Explore How Parental Expectations and Rules Influence Beverage Choices in Early Adolescence

Lori Roth-Yousey, Yen Li Chu, Marla M Reicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: To understand parent beverage expectations for early adolescents (EAs) by eating occasion at home and in various settings. Methods: Descriptive study using focus group interviews and the constant comparative method for qualitative data analysis. Results: Six focus groups were completed, and 2 were conducted in Spanish. Participants (n = 49) were mostly female (86%) and non-Hispanic white (49%) and Hispanic (33%). Parent expectations for EA beverage intake were based on health beliefs, EA preferences, and cost, whereas those related to portion sizes and frequency varied by beverage type. Parents managed beverage expectations at home and away from home by making healthful beverages available and accessible, or by offering or allowing only specific beverages. Conclusions and Implications: Results from this qualitative study involving a small sample of parents showed that expectations were influenced by practical concerns and managed primarily through availability practices. These issues could be addressed to improve EA beverage consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-652
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Grant support provided by the Ann A. Hertzler Research Grant, American Dietetic Association Foundation , Chicago, IL; and University of Minnesota Extension Health and Nutrition Programs, University of Minnesota, St. Paul. Special thanks is given to Alyssa Banks, Spanish-speaking focus group moderator, from the Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research Organization, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Many thanks to Spanish-speaking focus group recorders. The authors gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the support of the focus group participants.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Beverages
  • Parent-early adolescent relations
  • Qualitative research
  • Social Cognitive Theory


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