The moderating effects of acculturation on the relation of parenting strategies to unhealthy weight control behaviors in Hispanic daughters
Abstract There is a dearth of research regarding the association of child and parent traits to the use of unhealthy weight control behaviors among minority girls with obesity. This study examined the moderating effects of mothers' and daughters' acculturation in the relation of parenting strategies (setting limits, monitoring and discipline) to unhealthy weight control behaviors in Hispanic girls with obesity. Participants included 148 Hispanic mother-daughter dyads ( M age = 3 39.1, SD = 6.4 years; M age = 1 11.3, SD = 1.5 years, respectively). Two-thirds of the mothers were born in Mexico and 46% of them reported low levels of acculturation. In contrast, almost all daughters (90%) were born in the United States and reported high levels of acculturation. Participants were recruited through school nurses and social agencies community coordinators. Mothers and daughters completed surveys on demographic, acculturation, unhealthy weight control behaviors (daughters only) and parenting strategies (mothers only), and had their height, weight, and adiposity assessed. Results from a hierarchical regression analysis revealed that daughters' acculturation, but not mothers' acculturation, moderated the relation of parenting limit setting to daughters’ reported engagement in unhealthy weight control behaviors ( β = 1.12 1.12, p = 0.007). That is, mothers who used more limit setting were less likely to have daughters engaging in unhealthy weight control behavior and this association was stronger among low acculturated girls than among their highly acculturated counterparts. Future research should assess cultural influences and parenting practices in a sample of Hispanic mothers and their adolescent daughters of varied weight statuses and acculturation levels.
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