Submitted to: Annals of Behavioral Medicine
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2006
Publication Date: June 1, 2006
Citation: Hughes, S.O., Anderson, C.B., Power, T.G., Nicklas, T.A. 2006. Cross-cultural methods for measuring feeding in African-American and Hispanic parents [abstract]. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 31(Suppl):S055. Technical Abstract: Current feeding measures have been developed based on the premise that a child's obesity risk is increased when parents exert a high level of control over feeding. Although an important dimension in feeding, this construct based on concerns about a child's weight may not capture the broader socio-cultural context in which feeding behaviors occur, particularly among low-income minority populations. Theories of parental socialization among ethnic and minority populations take a broader look at the use of parental strategies as a way to transmit cultural values to their children. Furthermore, these culturally based parenting strategies may reflect an adaptive response to circumstances associated with poverty. The current study describes the culturally informed method used to develop and measure parent-centered and child-centered parental feeding strategies across two low-income ethnic groups. To be able to accurately measure cultural differences associated with feeding, qualitative and quantitative methods were used to assure conceptual, linguistic, and measurement equivalency across African-American and Hispanic parents. Mean differences in feeding strategies were found with Hispanic parents reporting significantly more parent-centered/high control and child-centered feeding strategies compared to African-American parents. Furthermore, the relationship between children's weight status and parental feeding strategies varied by the two ethnic groups and the gender of the child. Implications of these results for understanding the role of parental socialization in the development of child obesity are discussed.