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An Exploratory Study of 2 Parenting Styles and Family Health Behaviors

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Objective: To examine the relationships between 2 parenting styles and family nutrition and physical activity. Methods: Parents of elementary/primary school children in the southeastern United States (N = 145) completed surveys regarding family relationships and health behaviors. Results: Parents exhibiting a laissez-faire parenting style reported lower levels of family nutrition and physical activity. In addition, parent BMI moderated the relationship between laissez-faire parenting and these health behaviors. Conclusions: This study indicates that family-oriented nutrition and physical activity programs may benefit from including a focus on decreasing laissez-faire parenting, as well as helping overweight parents reduce their BMIs.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA 2: Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA 3: Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation-Louisville Center, Louisville, KY, USA 4: School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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