The unique and additive associations of family functioning and parenting practices with disordered eating behaviors in diverse adolescents

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Abstract

To examine the unique and additive associations of family functioning and parenting practices with adolescent disordered eating behaviors (i.e.; dieting, unhealthy weight control behaviors, binge eating). Data from EAT (Eating and Activity in Teens) 2010, a population-based study assessing eating and activity among racially/ethnically and socio-economically diverse adolescents (n = 2,793; mean age = 14.4, SD = 2.0; age range = 11-19) was used. Logistic regression models were used to examine associations between adolescent dieting and disordered eating behaviors and family functioning and parenting variables, including interactions. All analyses controlled for demographics and body mass index. Higher family functioning, parent connection, and parental knowledge about child's whereabouts (e.g. who child is with, what they are doing, where they are at) were significantly associated with lower odds of engaging in dieting and disordered eating behaviors in adolescents, while parent psychological control was associated with greater odds of engaging in dieting and disordered eating behaviors. Although the majority of interactions were non-significant, parental psychological control moderated the protective relationship between family functioning and disordered eating behaviors in adolescent girls. Clinicians and health care providers may want to discuss the importance of balancing specific parenting behaviors, such as increasing parent knowledge about child whereabouts while decreasing psychological control in order to enhance the protective relationship between family functioning and disordered eating behaviors in adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-217
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

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Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Binge eating
  • Dieting
  • Family functioning
  • Parenting
  • Weight control behaviors

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