Online Program

Interpersonal influences on the dietary practices of obese adolescent females and their mothers

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Megan Winkler, MSN, RNC-NIC, CPNP-PC, School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, NC
Elizabeth Moore, MSc, BSN, RN, School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, NC
Debra Brandon, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN, School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, NC
INTRODUCTION: Obesity rates are highest among U.S. adolescent females and women, and interpersonal relationships have been identified as a significant influence on people’s behavior and health. Therefore, this study explored obese adolescent females’ and their mothers' perceptions of how people in their daily life influence their dietary practices of eating, cooking, and food shopping.

METHODS: A descriptive, exploratory study was conducted with an ethnically-diverse sample of 15 obese adolescent females and 12 of their mothers. Participants were recruited following their initial visit to a North Carolina childhood obesity clinic. Three adolescent female and three mother focus groups were conducted, and content analysis techniques were used to analyze the transcribed interviews.

RESULTS: Parents were considered the most influential interpersonal relationship to obese adolescent females’ dietary practices, and seven types of influences from parents were identified: Controlling, Supporting and Cultivating, Overlooking, Acquiescing, Providing, Attending, and Vacating and Resigning. Among mother focus groups, children were considered the most influential relationship affecting dietary practices, and two types of influences from children were identified: Intentional and Unintentional Influences.

DISCUSSION: Findings indicate the presence of bidirectional, mutual influences between parents and children and the need for practitioners to systematically address influences from both parents and children to prevent and treat childhood obesity. However, given the limited obesity research that explores children and adolescents as active influencing agents, additional research is required to understand the complex, reciprocal social processes occurring between parents and children which subsequently influence child obesity-associated dietary outcomes.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the types of interpersonal relationship influences affecting dietary practices as experienced by obese adolescent females and their mothers Discuss the need for additional nutrition and obesity research which explores children and adolescents as active agents contributing to their own social and food environments

Keyword(s): Obesity, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD candidate at Duke University School of Nursing and a recipient of two grant awards, including an NIH-NINR F31, for my current dissertation work focused on obesity and dietary practices among African American adolecent girls. In addition to this study, I have completed additional pediatric obesity longitudinal analyses. All of my work focuses on the contributors to obesity among vulnerable pediatric populations with an overall goal to reduce and prevent lifelong obesity-associated-outcomes.
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.