Academic journal article Childhood Obesity

Correlates of Resource Empowerment among Parents of Children with Overweight or Obesity

Academic journal article Childhood Obesity

Correlates of Resource Empowerment among Parents of Children with Overweight or Obesity

Article excerpt

[Author Affiliation]

Junghyun Lim. 1 Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.

Kirsten K. Davison. 2 Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA.

Janine M. Jurkowski. 3 Department of Health Policy, Management, and Behavior, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY.

Christine M. Horan. 4 Department of General Academic Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston, MA.

E. John Orav. 5 Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA.

Neil Kamdar. 4 Department of General Academic Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston, MA. 6 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI.

Lauren G. Fiechtner. 4 Department of General Academic Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston, MA. 7 Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston, MA.

Elsie M. Taveras. 2 Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA. 4 Department of General Academic Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston, MA.

Address correspondence to: Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH, Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 860, Boston, MA 02114, E-mail: elsie.taveras@mgh.harvard.edu

Introduction

Empowerment is a group of theories with multiple constructs, including resource empowerment, that can be broadly defined as the process by which one gains greater knowledge of and capacity to control one's life.1-8 Numerous studies have recognized empowerment as an effective intervention domain in diverse settings, including prison,9 schools,10,11 general work environment,12,13 and care centers for chronic illness.14,15 In the context of childhood obesity, parental empowerment can be defined as the ability to perceive and control children's exposure to obesity risk factors within socioecological realities governing their families.1

Recent studies have begun to examine the role of parental empowerment in this context.16-20 Hand et al. implemented an empowerment program targeting parents from low-income families to promote healthy dietary and physical activity habits of their children and other family members.16 After participating in a series of workshops conducted by registered dietitian nutritionists, parents reported significant behavioral changes that promoted obesity-reducing behavior in their families.16 With growing evidence pointing to parents' strong influence on children's obesity-related behaviors, the concept of parental empowerment is worth further investigation.3,21

Among children with overweight or obesity, Jurkowski et al. divide parental empowerment into two subdimensions: parental resource empowerment and parenting self-efficacy.1 Parent resource empowerment encompasses parents' knowledge of resources and comfort and competency in controlling them.1 Parenting self-efficacy specific to childhood obesity can be defined as parents' belief about their own ability to competently and effectively parent their children to prevent childhood obesity.1

While studies have identified predictors of parental self-efficacy with respect to children's dietary and physical activity behaviors (belief in parental modeling, younger child age, and some college or trade school parent education) and observed that greater parental self-efficacy is associated with greater food and physical activity parenting practices, few studies have examined correlates of parental resource empowerment specific to childhood obesity. …

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