The impact of environmental, parental and child factors on health-related behaviors among low-income children

Salma M.A. Musaad, Katherine E. Speirs, Jenna T. Hayes, Amy R. Mobley, Nurgul Fitzgerald, Blake L. Jones, Angela VanBrackle, Madeleine Sigman-Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Multi-level factors act in concert to influence child weight-related behaviors. This study examined the simultaneous impact of variables obtained at the level of the home environment (e.g., mealtime ritualization), parent (e.g., modeling) and child (e.g., satiety responsiveness) with the outcomes of practicing healthy and limiting unhealthy child behaviors (PHCB and LUCB, respectively) in a low-income U.S. sample. This was a cross sectional study of caregivers of preschool children (n = 432). Caregivers were interviewed using validated scales. Structural equation modeling was used to examine associations with the outcomes. Adjusting for study region, demographics and caregiver's body mass index, we found significant associations between PHCB and higher mealtime ritualizations (β: 0.21, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.11; 0.32, more parental modeling (β: 0.39, 95% CI: 0.27; 0.49) and less parental restrictive behavior (β: −0.19, 95% CI: −0.29; −0.10). More parental covert control (β: 0.44, 95% CI: 0.35; 0.54), more parental overt control (β: 0.14, 95% CI: 0.03; 0.25) and less parental permissive behavior (β: −0.25, 95% CI: −0.34; −0.09) were significantly associated with LUCB. Findings suggest the synergistic effects of mealtime ritualizations and covert control at the environmental-level and parental modeling, overt control, restrictive and permissive behavior at the parent-level on the outcomes. Most factors are modifiable and support multidisciplinary interventions that promote healthy child weight-related behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-271
Number of pages12
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Child weight-related behaviors
  • Home environment
  • Parent feeding behavior
  • Parenting behavior
  • Structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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