Background: Parenting interventions have achieved changes in factors associated with childhood obesity but few have tested the effects on multiple parental influences. Purpose: This study examined the efficacy of an intervention aimed at improving several dimensions of parenting related to childhood obesity. Design: The study used a 2 × 2 factorial design. Setting/participants: In 2003, a sample of 13 Southern California schools was randomized to one of four conditions: micro-environment only, macro-environment only, micro-plus-macro-environment, and no treatment control condition. Participants included 811 predominantly Mexican immigrant/Mexican-American mothers with children in kindergarten through second grade. Intervention: In both micro conditions, participants received monthly home visits by a promotora over a 7-month period plus monthly mailed newsletters. Main outcome measures: In 2008, intervention effects were examined on (1) parenting strategies, including limit setting, monitoring, discipline, control, and reinforcement related to children's diet and physical activity; (2) parental support for physical activity; (3) parent-mediated family behaviors such as family meals eaten together and TV watching during family dinners; and (4) perceived barriers and other parent cognitions related to children's eating and activity. Results: At the 2-year follow-up, significant improvements were observed in three of five parenting strategies, parental support, and two of four parent-mediated family behaviors among parents receiving the micro intervention (i.e., those who received promotora visits and monthly newsletters), as compared with those in the macro-only and control conditions. Conclusions: Aspects of parenting related to children's risk for obesity and related health outcomes are modifiable with the support of a promotora and print media.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health