Online Program

Perception of food purchase influence among African-American child-parent dyads

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Olajide Williams, MD MS, Neurological Institute, Stroke Division, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY
Alexandra DeSorbo, MPH, Neurological Institute, Stroke Division, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
Michele Shaffer, PHD, Biostatistics, Seattle Children's, Seattle, WA
William Gerin, PhD, Department of Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
James Noble, MD MS CPH, Taub Institute, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
Background: Food marketers target children because of their purchasing influence (PI) on parents. Per year, it is estimated that children spend $25 billion on food purchases for themselves and influence another $200 billion of parents' spending. Two dimensions of family communication styles are identified in the literature: Socio-orientation, which enhances the child's conformity to parental values in order to produce obedience and avoid controversy; and concept orientation, which encourages children to develop their own opinions and consider alternatives before making decisions. We explored the role of these family communication patterns on perceived food PI of African-American children over parents. Methods: We administered food PI questionnaires to a sample of 51 African-American child-parent pairs (N=102) outside two elementary schools in Harlem, a low-income NYC community. Correlation, regression, and nonparametric analysis of variance were used to explore relationships between communication patterns, child/parent ages, and number of children in the household on perceived PI. Results: We found no correlation between concept-orientation or socio-orientation with education (r=0.13, p=0.39; r=0.18, p=0.21, respectively), or income (r=-0.050, p=0.74; r=0.019, p=0.90). Perceived PI of children over parents was above average, score 17 (SD= 1.94) (range 8-24). In a multivariable regression analysis, only concept-orientation was a significant predictor of perceived influence of children (p=0.025). Conclusions: The concept-orientation family communication pattern may be a significant predictor of perceived PI of African-American children on their parents, suggesting that building PI into health interventions targeting consumer socialization of children around food choice may be a novel approach for influencing parental food-purchasing.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of perceived purchase-influence among African-American children on their parents and their relationship its relationship with family communication styles of concept-orientation and socio-orientation. Identify the role of family communication styles in developing tailored health interventions targeting children and their influence of family food-purchases.

Keyword(s): Family/Consumer Perspective, Theory

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I manage two NIH-funded randomized controlled trials on health disparities at Columbia University Medical Center. I am also currently a doctoral candidate in health education at Columbia University, Teachers College.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.