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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Development and validation of the Family Health Behavior Scale

item Moreno, J
item Kelley, M
item Landry, D
item Paasch, V
item Terlecki, M
item Johnston, C
item Foreyt, J

Submitted to: International Journal of Pediatric Obesity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/26/2011
Publication Date: 5/26/2011
Citation: Moreno, J.P., Kelley, M.L., Landry, D.N., Paasch, V., Terlecki, M.A., Johnston, C.A., Foreyt, J.P. 2011. Development and validation of the Family Health Behavior Scale. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. 6(2-2):e480-e486.

Interpretive Summary: Addressing the problem of childhood obesity requires assessing variables in the environment which contribute to unhealthy or "obesogenic" behaviors. Parents strongly influence the health habits of their children by modeling behaviors, providing reinforcements, and facilitating healthy or unhealthy eating and activities. When assessing the family environment, it is important to examine the health behaviors of both the parent and the child. While questionnaires have been created to examine the obesogenic behaviors of both parent and child, few do so in a brief format. Further, none of the brief questionnaires have been tested on an ethnically diverse sample of people. The purpose of this study was to create a brief, user friendly, easy to score questionnaire, called Family Health Behavior Scale (FHBS). Our results indicated that the FHBS is a valid measure of family eating and physical activity behaviors, and is appropriate for use on an ethnically diverse sample. Furthermore, parent scores on the questionnaire were shown to predict the weight classification of the child. The FHBS is a useful assessment tool for researchers and clinicians who need to assess the family environment as it relates to health practices.

Technical Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to develop a psychometrically sound, parent-report measure of family and child behaviors related to obesity in children between 5- and 12-years-old. Item generation, item selection, and initial exploratory factor analysis yielded a 27-item measure called the Family Health Behavior Scale (FHBS). The FHBS contains four subscales measuring health-promoting family behaviors, obesogenic behaviors, meal-time routines, and family physical activity habits. Parent ratings on the FHBS were shown to predict their child's weight classification. The FHBS also demonstrated adequate internal consistency and temporal stability. The results of the study suggest that the FHBS is a promising measure of family eating and physical activity habits related to obesity in children.

Last Modified: 10/20/2017
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