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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Hispanic parents of overweight and obese children and their outcome expectations for children's television viewing: A qualitative study

Authors
item Del Rio Rodriguez, Betty -
item Hilmers, Angela -
item O'Connor, Teresia -

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2013
Publication Date: July 11, 2013
Citation: Del Rio Rodriguez, B., Hilmers, A., O'Connor, T.M. 2013. Hispanic parents of overweight and obese children and their outcome expectations for children's television viewing: A qualitative study. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 45(6):718-722.

Interpretive Summary: Some parents restrict their children's TV viewing, while other parents let their children watch a lot of TV. It is likely that parents perceive different outcomes of letting their child watch TV, which may influence how likely they are to restrict TV viewing. Understanding possible negative or positive outcome expectations that parents have regarding their child's TV viewing will be important in order to develop effective TV reduction interventions for children. We explored parents' outcome expectations of allowing their child to watch TV or restricting TV among mostly Hispanic parents of overweight or obese 5- to 8-year-old children, using semi-structured interviews. The sample of 20 parents reported both positive and negative outcome expectations for letting their child watch TV. Parents' perceived positive outcome expectations of letting their child watch TV were primarily based on convenience, providing the child entertainment or babysitting. Hispanic parents would limit children's TV viewing to improve their children's health, restrict content, and promote other activities. Negative outcome expectations, such as child misbehavior and the loss of positive outcome expectations for allowing TV, emerged as reasons parents may not limit TV. Although Hispanic parents expected to improve their child's health by limiting TV, the positive outcome of letting their child watch TV and the negative outcome expectations of limiting TV viewing may prevent them from doing so. Interventions to reduce children's TV viewing to prevent childhood obesity may be more effective if they address parents' outcome expectations for allowing or restricting their child's TV viewing.

Technical Abstract: Our objective was to explore parental outcome expectations (OE) regarding children's television (TV) viewing among parents of overweight or obese children. We conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with 20 parents of 5- to 8-year-old overweight or obese children. We found that parents' positive OE for allowing TV viewing were the convenience of using TV for entertainment or as a babysitter. Hispanic parents would limit children's TV viewing to improve their children's health, restrict content, and promote other activities. Negative OE such as children misbehavior and the loss of positive OE for allowing TV emerged as reasons parents may not limit TV. We concluded that although Hispanic parents expected to improve their child's health by limiting TV, the negative OE may prevent them from doing so. Interventions targeting children's TV viewing, as a strategy to fight childhood obesity, may be more effective if they promote parents' positive OE and address parents' negative OE for children's TV viewing.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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