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Parent–child interactions and obesity prevention: a systematic review of the literature

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Abstract:

Child obesity research has generally not examined multiple layers of parent–child relationships during weight-related activities such as feeding, eating and play. A literature review was conducted to locate empirical studies that measured parent–child interactions and child eating and child weight variables; five papers met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The findings of the review revealed that parent–child relationships are an important element in explaining the unhealthy trend of childhood obesity. We argue that prevention/intervention strategies must extend on the current models of parenting by targeting the family from a bi-directional perspective, and focusing, specifically, on the mutually responsive orientation that exists in the parent–child relationship.

Keywords: childhood obesity; mutually responsive orientation; parent–child interactions; public health

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2010.548606

Affiliations: 1: School of Psychology,Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia 2: School of Psychological Sciences,University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia 3: Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health,University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 4: Department of Neurology,University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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