Parenting style and dietary behaviour of young children. Findings from the Healthy Beginnings Trial

Huilan Xu, Li Ming Wen, Chris Rissel, Victoria M. Flood, Louise A. Baur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Parenting style may have a role in the development of young children's dietary behaviour, and a better understanding of parenting style may lead to better-targeted childhood obesity prevention interventions. This study aimed to investigate the association of parental self-efficacy, parenting style and dietary behaviour of young children. A cross-sectional study with 242 first-time mothers and their children was conducted using the data from the Healthy Beginnings Trial undertaken in one of the most socially and economically disadvantaged areas of south-western Sydney, in 2007-2010. Parental self-efficacy, parenting style (warmth and hostility) and children's dietary behaviours (consumption of vegetables, fruit, soft-drink and snacks) were assessed by face-to-face interviews with participating mothers in the control group when their children were 2. years old. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the association between parenting style and the child's dietary behaviour. Mothers with higher levels of global parental self-efficacy and self-efficacy for an infant were more likely to report their children had 2 serves of vegetables per day, with odds ratio (OR) 2.40 (95%CI 1.35-4.27, P=0.003) and OR 1.88 (95%CI 1.06-3.36, P=0.03), respectively. A higher level of global parental self-efficacy or self-efficacy for an infant was significantly associated with having 2 serves of fruit per day with adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.46 (95%CI 1.35-4.48, P=0.003) and AOR 1.85 (95%CI 1.00-3.41, P=0.048), respectively, after adjusting for annual household income. Mothers with a higher level of parental warmth were more likely to report their children had 2 serves of vegetable per day with OR 1.85 (95%CI 1.06-3.25, P=0.03). Parental self-efficacy and parenting style were associated, cross-sectionally, with important children's dietary behaviours. Interventions which target parental self-efficacy and parenting style may improve eating habits of young children, and contribute to childhood obesity prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalAppetite
Volume71
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dietary behaviour
  • Parental self-efficacy
  • Parenting style

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