Influence of parenting styles in the context of Adolescents’ energy balance-related behaviors: Findings from the FLASHE study

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Lack of compliance with dietary and activity guidelines contributes to the high prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents. Intervention programs need enhanced strategies to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors. Although adolescents have more autonomy than younger children, parents still play an important role in influencing adolescents' energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs). Parenting style may have an overarching effect on adolescents' EBRBs. The purpose of this study was to inform improvements to the design of intervention programs for the parents of adolescents by examining influences of parenting styles on adolescents' EBRBs. The current study used data from the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) Study, which was an online survey on factors affecting adolescents' EBRBs among a national sample of adolescent-parent dyads (n = 1521; aged 12–17). Adolescents reported parenting dimensions of responsiveness and demandingness as well as parenting practices related to fruit and vegetable intake, junk food and sugary drink intake, physical activity, and screen time. They also reported food intake frequencies and time spent in physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Moderation and mediation analyses found that the potential protective effect of junk food/sugary drink- and physical activity-related parenting practices were significant among non-authoritarian parents. In addition, parenting styles had significant associations with adolescents' EBRBs after adjusting for the mediation effects of corresponding parenting practices. These findings suggest that further research and intervention programs need to consider the potential influence of parenting styles on adolescents’ EBRBs. Parenting skill education to improve the connection between parents and adolescents may enhance the effectiveness of healthy lifestyle interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104364
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Adolescent
  • Dietary intake
  • Parenting practice
  • Parenting style
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behavior


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