Parental perceptions of their adolescent's weight status: The ECHO study

Mary O. Hearst, Nancy E Sherwood, Elizabeth G. Klein, Keryn E. Pasch, Leslie A. Lytle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives: To assess the correlates of parental classification of adolescent weight status. Methods: Measured adolescent weight status was compared to parent self-report perception data (n=374 dyads) using multivariate analyses with interactions to identify characteristics associated with inaccurate parent classification of adolescent weight status. Results: Adolescent weight status was underestimated by 31% of parents. College-educated parents were more likely to underestimate the weight of their male adolescents (OR=1.95) and overweight adolescents (OR=4.0). Noncollege- educated parents were 8.92 times as likely to misclassify overweight adolescents, regardless of the sex of the child. Conclusions: Parental perception may play a role in supporting adolescent's healthy weight-related behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of health behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • Adolescent weight
  • Overweight
  • Parent perceptions
  • Underestimate
  • Weight discordance


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