Food parenting practices and parenting styles are associated with child weight status, dietary intake, and eating behaviors. Although parents maintain a parenting style while also engaging in food parenting practices day-to-day, most studies have examined the separate impact of these two constructs on child outcomes. An examination of both practices and styles will facilitate the identification of how they mutually co-exist and influence child weight and weight-related outcomes. The current study examined the clustering of food parenting practices and parenting styles and evaluated the relationship between these parenting characteristics and child weight status, diet quality and eating behaviors. Children aged 5–7 and their parents (N = 150) from six racial/ethnic groups were recruited through primary care clinics. Latent class analysis classified subgroups based on parenting practices and styles. Regression analyses examined relationships between subgroups and child outcomes. The best-fitting model was two subgroups. Parents in subgroup 1 (n = 37) were more likely to restrict foods, pressure children to eat and less likely to engage in food modeling compared to subgroup 2 (n = 112). Parents in subgroup 1 were more likely to report authoritarian and permissive parenting styles and less likely to report an authoritative parenting style, compared to subgroup 2. Parents in subgroup 1 were more likely to report children who ate to obtain pleasure and who lacked internal cues for hunger than those in subgroup 2. There were no association between subgroups and child weight status, diet quality and other eating behaviors. Future research and interventions should take into consideration how parenting styles and practices mutually influence child weight and weight-related outcomes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
All phases of this study were supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health ( R01HL126171 and T32MH082761 ).
- Child weight
- Latent class analysis
- Parenting practices
- Parenting styles