Relationship between parental use of praise and child weight outcomes in the FOCUS pediatric obesity study
Dennett, Carrie C.
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Objective: To examine the association between parental use of praise for healthy food and activity behaviors and child weight outcomes. Methods: Quantity and quality of praise use was assessed by 3-week retrospective recall every 5 weeks during the 20-week treatment period of this randomized clinical trial by parent self-report and interventionist report. It was also assessed by independent coding. Association between praise frequency and reduction in child body mass index (BMI) z-score was evaluated (n = 57). Results: Praise use as measured by parent self-report is associated with reduction in child BMI z-score, but results of the parent and interventionist reports provides a better cumulative predictor of child weight change, explaining 22% of the variance. Conclusions: Praise or healthy behaviors should be included in future child obesity interventions, with parents educated on effective use of praise. Using both parent self-reports and interventionist reports to assess praise use is recommended.
- Nutritional sciences