A qualitative exploration of parent and adolescent experiences in the Health Online for Teens (HOT) program

I Prichard, N McKay, C J Moores, L K Bell, L K Lewis, M D Miller

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


ObjectivesTechnology offers increased reach for lifestyle interventions, however it is unknown how adolescents and their parents engage and experience group-based online programs. This study aimed to explore experiences of parents and adolescents who completed an online program.MethodsHealth Online for Teens (HOT) is a 14-week healthy lifestyle program for adolescents (13-17y) above a healthy weight, and their parents. HOT aims to improve diet, physical activity, and sedentary behaviours in line with Australian guidelines. To explore experiences with HOT, semi-structured interviews were conducted individually with adolescents (n=10) and parents (n=9) from 11 participating families following the program (8 adolescent-parent dyads). Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using an inductive thematic analysis.ResultsAnalysis revealed five themes: 1) participant goals for HOT; 2) role of parents in adolescent health; 3) facilitators and barriers of engagement; 4) changes in behaviour; and 5) suggestions to improve experiences. Adolescents reported weight loss as their goal, while parents wanted to shift the focus away from weight loss to being healthy and feeling better. Most adolescents reported their parents had a supporting role and parents perceived their role to be a motivator for their child. Some adolescents preferred no parent involvement. Adolescents reported time spent on school homework as prohibitive to spending more time on HOT which itself felt like school work, while parents acknowledged HOT was not a priority for themselves. Despite these barriers, most adolescents reported making positive changes to lifestyle behaviours (improved diet, increased physical activity, regular sleeping pattern, reduced sedentary time). Some parents disagreed that their child had made changes, and some adolescents did not report lifestyle changes. To improve experience and engagement, adolescents suggested fewer goal setting activities and more interaction between participants. Parents and adolescents felt social media may have increased their engagement.ConclusionThe mixed views of adolescents and parents highlight that optimal parent involvement may depend on the adolescent's independence and relationship with his/her parent. Future research should further explore the parent and adolescent relationship and its influence on lifestyle behaviours, and whether adolescent healthy lifestyle programs should provide options regarding parent participation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventInternational Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) Scientific Meeting - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 4 Jun 20197 Jun 2019


ConferenceInternational Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) Scientific Meeting
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


  • health behavior
  • adolescents
  • obesity


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