Purpose: To examine parent and family variables in relation to adolescent weight-control and eating behaviors, body satisfaction, and importance of thinness among overweight adolescents. Methods: This study examined parent-reported use of weight-control behaviors (i.e., healthy and unhealthy behaviors, behavioral changes, other diet strategies), parent psychosocial functioning (i.e., depression, self-esteem, body satisfaction, importance of thinness), and family functioning (i.e., cohesion and adaptability) in relation to adolescent weight-control and eating behaviors, body satisfaction, and importance of thinness. Surveys were completed by 103 overweight (body mass index, ≥85th percentile) adolescents (aged 12-20 yr), and their parents. Height and weight were also measured. Linear regression equations were used for continuous outcomes and logistic regression equations for dichotomous outcomes. Results: Adolescent report of lower body satisfaction and engagement in more "severe" or less healthy forms of weight-control behavior were associated with parent weight-control behaviors. Adolescent report of overeating was associated with lower scores of family cohesion and adaptability. Adolescent report of lower body satisfaction was positively associated with parent report of body satisfaction and self-esteem. Adolescent report of greater importance placed on thinness was associated with parent report of lower self-esteem. Conclusions: Findings indicate that several parent and family variables are associated with weight-control behaviors, episodes of overeating, and body satisfaction and importance of thinness among overweight adolescents. Parent weight-control behaviors and adolescent cognitions about body image may be important variables to target within intervention research and treatment programs for overweight youth.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by University of Minnesota Children's Vikings Grant .
- Body satisfaction
- Family functioning
- Weight-control behavior