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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Potential use of food/activity, parenting style, and caregiver feeding style measurement tools with American Indian families: A brief report

Author
item HUGHES, SHERYL - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item HAYES, JENNA - University Of Nevada
item SIGMAN-GRANT, MADELEINE - University Of Nevada

Submitted to: Maternal and Child Health Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2016
Publication Date: 7/28/2016
Citation: Hughes, S.O., Hayes, J.T., Sigman-Grant, M. 2017. Potential use of food/activity, parenting style, and caregiver feeding style measurement tools with American Indian families: A brief report. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 21(2):242-247. doi:10.1007/s10995-016-2145-3.

Interpretive Summary: Given the high rates of childhood obesity among American Indians, it is very important to expand our understanding of general parenting styles, feeding styles, and feeding practices in this population. Specifically, there is no valid assessment tool to measure parenting behaviors among American Indians, taking into consideration tribal differences. In this study, we examined the relationship among parenting styles, feeding styles, and feeding practices within American Indian children and families. The goal of this paper was to stimulate a dialogue in the research community about these concepts as well as the instruments used to measure each of these constructs. A small sub-sample of American Indian caregivers identified with in a larger study population was used for this study. This small study showed that American Indian parents exhibit high responsiveness in both general parenting and in their feeding styles. More investigations are needed to explore questions raised by this study about using common tools that measure childhood obesity with American Indian families.

Technical Abstract: To provide preliminary descriptive data on caregiver and child weight status, parenting styles, feeding styles, and feeding practices of a small American Indian sample. Participants included a subsample of American Indian caregivers (n = 23) identified from a larger study that was conducted in five states. Using previously validated instruments, means, standard deviations, and ranges for general parenting styles, feeding styles, and feeding practices were explored. In general, most caregivers reported healthy feeding practices. Most caregivers scored higher on responsive compared to restrictive or permissive in general parenting. Of the sample, 12 caregivers (52.2 percent) were classified in the indulgent feeding style category, 5 caregivers (21.7 percent) were classified as authoritative, 5 (21.7 percent) uninvolved, and 1 (4.3 percent) authoritarian. More investigations are needed to explore questions raised by this study about using common tools that measure childhood obesity with American Indian families.