Intergenerational exchange of healthful eating encouragement: Consideration of family ancestry and disease history

Jasmine A. Manalel, Christopher Steven Marcum, Samantha Calabrese, Kayla de la Haye, Donna Hughes, Ivanka Prichard, Amanda Hutchinson, Carlene Wilson, Laura Koehly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Improving diet is a prime target for the prevention and management of chronic disease. The communal coping model suggests that families can mitigate shared risk of chronic disease through encouragement of healthful eating, eliciting preventive behaviors. METHOD: Using network data from 69 Australian families across three ancestry groups (Anglo, Italian, and Asian) with varied family health histories, the present study applied social network analysis to identify patterns of intergenerational encouragement of healthful eating behavior within families, and assess whether patterns varied by family ancestry or disease density. RESULTS: Findings indicated variation in patterns of health encouragement by ancestry such that Asian-Australian families were most distinct from the other ancestry groups. While there was no main effect of familial disease history, it moderated the effect of Italian ancestry on intergenerational encouragement patterns. DISCUSSION: These results provide important context for future family based interventions that leverage normative patterns of intergenerational exchange of encouragement or aim to modify such patterns in an effort to improve family health. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-313
Number of pages12
JournalFamilies, systems & health : the journal of collaborative family healthcare
Issue number4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 2019


  • intergenerational relationships
  • family communication
  • family networks


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