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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 715618, 7 pages
Research Article

The Associations of Parenting Factors with Adolescent Body Mass Index in an Underserved Population

1Department of Clinical & Health Psychology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 100165, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA
2Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
3Texas Prevention Institute, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA

Received 16 December 2012; Revised 6 April 2013; Accepted 22 April 2013

Academic Editor: Reza Majdzadeh

Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth M. Schneider et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The current study examined parental factors related to risk of adolescent obesity within the context of a family systems framework. Methods. Seventy predominantly African American, low-income caregiver-adolescent dyads participated in the study. Validated measures of parental perceived child risk for development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, parental limit setting for sedentary behavior, and parental nurturance were evaluated as predictors of adolescent body mass index. Results. In this cross-sectional study, multiple linear regression demonstrated that parents of adolescents with higher zBMI reported worrying more about their child's risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. Parent limit setting was also a significant predictor of adolescent zBMI. Contrary to expectations, higher levels of nurturance were associated with higher adolescent zBMI. Post hoc analyses revealed a trend towards a significant interaction between nurturance and limit setting, such that high levels of both parental nurturance and limit setting were associated with lower adolescent zBMI. Conclusions. Current findings suggest the importance of authoritative parenting and monitoring of adolescent health behaviors in the treatment of obesity.