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Concept: Parenting


BACKGROUND: Understanding the influences on physical activity is crucial, particularly among important target groups such as adolescent girls. This study describes cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between parenting style and girls' participation in organized sport, walking/cycling trips and objectively assessed moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). METHODS: Data were collected from adolescent girls (n=222) and their parents in 2004 and again in 2006. Parents self-reported their demographic characteristics and parenting style. Girls self-reported their organized sport participation and weekly walking/cycling trips, while MVPA was assessed using accelerometers. Linear regression and interaction analyses were performed. Interactions between socio-demographic factors and parenting style with organized sport, walking/cycling trips and MVPA are presented. RESULTS: There were cross-sectional associations between authoritative (B=-0.45, p=0.042) and indulgent (B=-0.56, p=0.002) parenting and the number of walking/cycling trips, and authoritarian (B=0.27, p=0.033) parenting and frequency of organized sport. Significant interactions included those between: family status, authoritative parenting and daily (p=0.048) and week day (p=0.013) MVPA; education, indulgent parenting and MVPA on weekend days (p=0.006); and, employment, authoritarian parenting and duration and frequency of organized sport (p=0.004), highlighting the complexity of these relationships. Longitudinal analyses revealed significant decreases in organized sport and MVPA, significant increases in walking/cycling trips and no significant associations between parenting and physical activity. CONCLUSION: Parenting styles appear to influence walking and cycling trips among adolescent girls, though not physical activity within other domains. Socio-demographic characteristics interact with the relationships between parenting and physical activity. While these findings can inform the development of family-based interventions to improve child and adolescent health, the direction of the observed associations and the number of associations approaching significance suggest the need to further explore this area.

Concepts: Childhood, Parenting, Parenting styles, Concerted cultivation


OBJECTIVE: This study examined the interaction between parental limit setting of sedentary behaviors and health factors (weight status, physical activity [PA], fruit and vegetable [FV] intake) on standardized body mass index (zBMI) in African American adolescents. METHODS: Data were from 67 parent-adolescent dyads. Parental limit setting, PA and FV intake were assessed via self-report, and objective height and weight measurements were collected. RESULTS: Regressions examined the interaction between parental limit setting and BMI, PA, FV intake on adolescent zBMI. The model for parent BMI and FV intake accounted for 31% of the variance in adolescent zBMI. A significant interaction for parent BMI by limit setting showed that as parental BMI increased, higher (vs. lower) limit setting was associated with lower adolescent zBMI. Higher parent FV consumption was associated with lower adolescent zBMI. CONCLUSION: Future interventions should integrate parent limit setting and target parent fruit and vegetable intake for obesity prevention in underserved adolescents.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Overweight, Mass, Parent, Body mass index, Parenting, Parenting styles


In many Western countries, an increasing number of children with separated parents have joint physical custody, that is, live equally much in their parent’s respective homes. In Sweden, joint physical custody is particularly common and concerns between 30% and 40% of the children with separated parents. It has been hypothesised that the frequent moves and lack of stability in parenting may be stressful for these children.

Concepts: Parenting, Divorce


Although various theories describe mechanisms leading to differential parenting of boys and girls, there is no consensus about the extent to which parents do treat their sons and daughters differently. The last meta-analyses on the subject were conducted more than fifteen years ago, and changes in gender-specific child rearing in the past decade are quite plausible. In the current set of meta-analyses, based on 126 observational studies (15,034 families), we examined mothers' and fathers' differential use of autonomy-supportive and controlling strategies with boys and girls, and the role of moderators related to the decade in which the study was conducted, the observational context, and sample characteristics. Databases of Web of Science, ERIC, PsychInfo, Online Contents, Picarta, and Proquest were searched for studies examining differences in observed parental control of boys and girls between the ages of 0 and 18 years. Few differences were found in parents' use of control with boys and girls. Parents were slightly more controlling with boys than with girls, but the effect size was negligible (d = 0.08). The effect was larger, but still small, in normative groups and in samples with younger children. No overall effect for gender-differentiated autonomy-supportive strategies was found (d = 0.03). A significant effect of time emerged: studies published in the 1970s and 1980s reported more autonomy-supportive strategies with boys than toward girls, but from 1990 onwards parents showed somewhat more autonomy-supportive strategies with girls than toward boys. Taking into account parents' gender stereotypes might uncover subgroups of families where gender-differentiated control is salient, but based on our systematic review of the currently available large data base we conclude that in general the differences between parenting of boys versus girls are minimal.

Concepts: Family, Scientific method, Parent, Effect size, Meta-analysis, Mother, Father, Parenting


Effective and simple screening tools are needed to detect behaviors that are established early in life and have a significant influence on weight gain later in life. Crowdsourcing could be a novel and potentially useful tool to assess childhood predictors of adult obesity. This exploratory study examined whether crowdsourcing could generate well-documented predictors in obesity research and, moreover, whether new directions for future research could be uncovered. Participants were recruited through social media to a question-generation website, on which they answered questions and were able to pose new questions that they thought could predict obesity. During the two weeks of data collection, 532 participants (62% female; age  =  26.5±6.7; BMI  =  29.0±7.0) registered on the website and suggested a total of 56 unique questions. Nineteen of these questions correlated with body mass index (BMI) and covered several themes identified by prior research, such as parenting styles and healthy lifestyle. More importantly, participants were able to identify potential determinants that were related to a lower BMI, but have not been the subject of extensive research, such as parents packing their children’s lunch to school or talking to them about nutrition. The findings indicate that crowdsourcing can reproduce already existing hypotheses and also generate ideas that are less well documented. The crowdsourced predictors discovered in this study emphasize the importance of family interventions to fight obesity. The questions generated by participants also suggest new ways to express known predictors.

Concepts: Cancer, Nutrition, Obesity, Prediction, Body mass index, Parenting, Body shape, Body weight


Recent research shows that most adults admit they lie to children. We also know that children learn through modeling and imitation. To date there are no published studies that examine whether lying to children has an effect on children’s honesty. We aimed to bridge the gap in this literature by examining the effects of adults' lies on elementary and preschool-aged children’s behavior using a modified temptation resistance paradigm, in which children are tempted to peek at a toy they have been told not to look at, and later given a chance to either admit peeking, or try to conceal their transgression by lying. Prior to being tested, half of the children were told a lie and half were not. We then measured both cheating (peeking) and lie-telling behaviors. We hypothesized that lying to a child would increase the likelihood that they would both peek at the toy and lie about having done so. Results showed that school-age children were more likely to peek if they had been lied to, and were also more likely to lie about peeking. In contrast with the school-age children, there was no difference in peeking or lying for preschoolers who were and were not lied to. These results have important implications for parenting and educational settings.

Concepts: Psychology, Effect, Child, Parenting, Adult, Lie


To determine impacts on social-emotional development at school entry of a pediatric primary care intervention (Video Interaction Project [VIP]) promoting positive parenting through reading aloud and play, delivered in 2 phases: infant through toddler (VIP birth to 3 years [VIP 0-3]) and preschool-age (VIP 3 to 5 years [VIP 3-5]).

Concepts: Infant, Childhood, Pediatrics, Parenting, Child development, Reading, Toddler


To investigate the relationship between olfactory dysfunction and subsequent diagnosis of dementia.

Concepts: Parenting


This study examines whether authoritative parenting style (characterized by warmth and strictness) is more protective against adolescent substances use than authoritarian (strictness but not warmth), indulgent (warmth but not strictness) and neglectful (neither warmth nor strictness) parenting styles. Emergent research in diverse cultural contexts (mainly Southern European and Latin American countries) questions the fact that authoritative would always be the optimum parenting style.

Concepts: United States, Spanish language, Childhood, Italian language, Parenting, Parenting styles, Concerted cultivation


This cross-sectional, dyadic questionnaire study examined the contribution of romantic attachment and responsive caregiving to parenting style, investigating both gender and partner effects. One hundred and twenty-five couples with children aged 7 to 8 years completed measures of attachment styles, responsive caregiving toward partner, and parenting styles. Structural Equation Modeling was used to examine the intra- and interpersonal associations between romantic attachment, caregiving responsiveness, and parenting styles. Attachment avoidance and anxiety were both negatively associated with responsive caregiving to partner, which in turn was positively associated with authoritative (optimal) parenting styles and negatively associated with authoritarian and permissive (nonoptimal) parenting styles. Responsive caregiving mediated all links between attachment and parenting, with an additional direct association between attachment anxiety and nonoptimal parenting styles that was not explained by caregiving responsiveness. Findings are discussed with reference to attachment theory.

Concepts: Developmental psychology, Parenting, Love, Attachment theory, Attachment in adults, Attachment measures, Attachment parenting, John Bowlby