Using data from the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) study, we examined how adolescents’ age as well as parents’ and their adolescent’s gender are associated with the influence strategies parents use to promote healthy behaviors. Parents reported their use of intentional modeling and social control for four health behaviors: fruit and vegetable consumption, junk food consumption, physical activity, and screen time. We found that parents’ reports of both intentional modeling and social control were lower for adolescents who were older. Additionally, parents reported using more intentional modeling with their same-gender children, but more social control with their sons. For certain health behaviors, the gender of parents and adolescents interacted with adolescents’ age to predict the reported use of social control. Overall, this work highlights the importance of delineating both the similarities and differences in how mothers and fathers use influence to shape the health behavior of their adolescents.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Data for this research come from the FLASHE Study, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) under contract number HHSN261201200039I issued to Westat, Inc.
© The Author(s) 2021.
- health behavior
- intentional modeling
- parent-adolescent relationships
- social control