Abstract P146: Parental Influences on Children’s Healthy Behaviors
Background: The effect of parental health behaviors on children has not been well studied. This study examined how sixth-grade students’ health behaviors were influenced by perceptions of their parents’ health behaviors.
Methods: Sixth grade students from 60 schools in Michigan participating in Project Healthy Schools were eligible for this study. Data on children’s and parents’ dietary, physical activity, and sedentary habits were collected through a validated health behavior questionnaire. Health behaviors analyzed included physical activity, screen time, sugary beverage consumption, fast/fatty food consumption, and fruit/vegetable consumption. Logistic regressions were used to determine the effect of parents’ health behaviors on their children’s health behaviors.
Results: 4065 students completed the health behavior questionnaire. Children were more likely to have healthy physical activity habits if their parents also had healthy physical activity habits. Children were more likely to have healthy screen time habits if their parents had healthy screen time, fast/fatty food, and sugary beverage habits. Children were more likely to have healthy sugary beverage habits if their parents had healthy sugary beverage, fruit/vegetable, and fast/fatty food habits. Children were more likely to have healthy fast/fatty food habits if their parents had healthy fast/fatty food, screen time, and sugary beverage habits. Children were more likely to have healthy fruit/vegetable habits if their parents had healthy fruit/vegetable, physical activity, and fast/fatty food habits.
Conclusions: Parent behaviors were strong predictors of child behaviors in the same category (e.g. high parental physical activity predicted high child physical activity) for all health behaviors assessed. All behaviors except physical activity were influenced by a multiple parent behaviors, suggesting more complex relationships. Further investigation may provide insight into strategies to improve children’s health behaviors.
Author Disclosures: K. Marcotte: None. R. Krallman: None. J. DuRussel-Weston: None. E. Kline-Rogers: None. E.A. Jackson: None. K.A. Eagle: None.
- © 2017 by American Heart Association, Inc.