Family Systems Research on Eating, Weight-Related Behaviors, and Obesity

Concurrent Sessions 5

Sarah Curtiss, Aaron Ebata, Layton Reesor, Jerika Ruiz, Daphne Hernandez, Josh Novak, Julie Gast, Travis Dorsch, Dina Izenstark, Aaron Ebata, Amber Hammons, Elizabeth Villegas, Margarita Teran-Garcia, Barbara Fiese, Jeffrey Cookston, Gretchen George, Alyssa Parsons, Kelly Bost, Brent McBride, Barbara Fiese

Facilitator: Daphne Hernandez

8:30 AM
9:45 AM
Location
Royal Palm 2
Session #
213
Session Type
Lightning Paper
Session Focus
  • Research
Organized By
  • Families & Health

About the Session

  • 213-01 - Shared Family Meals From the Perspective of Children on the Autism Spectrum
    By Sarah Curtiss, Aaron Ebata
  • 213-02 - Role of Marital and Motherhood Status on the Food Insecurity and Obesity Relationship
    By Layton Reesor, Jerika Ruiz, Daphne Hernandez
  • 213-03 - Dyadic Associations of Eating Encouragement and Discouragement on Eating Habits in Married Couples
    By Josh Novak, Julie Gast, Travis Dorsch
  • 213-04 - Perceived Health Benefits of Mothers' and Daughters’ Time Spent in Nature
    By Dina Izenstark, Aaron Ebata
  • 213-05 - Six-Week Family Health Promotion Program Effective at Increasing Family Routines
    By Amber Hammons, Elizabeth Villegas, Margarita Teran-Garcia, Barbara Fiese
  • 213-06 - Let's Eat Actively Together: A Pilot Cooking Intervention for Divorced and Separated Families
    By Jeffrey Cookston, Gretchen George
  • 213-07 - How Fathers Regulate Toddlers' Mealtime Distress: An Observational Study
    By Alyssa Parsons, Kelly Bost, Brent McBride, Barbara Fiese

Abstract(s)

Shared Family Meals From the Perspective of Children on the Autism Spectrum

By Sarah Curtiss, Aaron Ebata

Mealtimes for families of children with autism are largely characterized by stress and problematic behavior; however, there have been few efforts to understand mealtimes from the child’s perspective.  The purpose of this study was to better understand family meals from the perspective of children on the autism spectrum.  Additionally, we explored interviewing techniques for eliciting children with autism’s thoughts and feelings about family life.  Sixteen children were interviewed using a combination of techniques.  The responses from the interviews were coded thematically.

Objectives

1. To understand the perspectives of chilren on the autism regarding their family meals.2. To evaluate interview techniques for interviewing children on the autism spectrum. 3. To illustrate the implications of the research findings for practice.

Role of Marital and Motherhood Status on the Food Insecurity and Obesity Relationship

By Layton Reesor, Jerika Ruiz, Daphne Hernandez

A series of logistic regression models were conducted to evaluate if food insecurity predicted overweight/obesity by a combination of motherhood and marital status. Findings indicate that food insecurity was only a significant predictor of overweight/obesity among single child-free women. Single child-free women who were food insecure were at 107 higher odds of being classified as overweight/obese (OR: 2.07; CI 1.28, 3.35; p<.01). Food insecurity was not a significant predictor of overweight/obesity among married mothers, single mothers, and married child-free women. Having a family (i.e. spouse and/or children) may be a protective factor against the food insecurity-obesity paradox.

Objectives

Examine the role of marital status in the relationship between food insecurity and overweight/obesity.Examine the role of motherhood status in the relationship between food insecurity and overweight/obesity.Inform potential programatic and policy interventions on food insecurity.

Dyadic Associations of Eating Encouragement and Discouragement on Eating Habits in Married Couples

By Josh Novak, Julie Gast, Travis Dorsch

A large body of literature has found a direct influence of romantic relationships on health behaviors—known as health-related support or control (Cohen, 2004)—but there is still much research needed to further identify how relationships influence health in other ways, including specific health behavior support strategies (support for healthy eating and exercise habits) that partners use, the indirect or mediating mechanisms, and dyadic pathways. Utilizing 234 married couples, the  present study explored the dyadic associations of eating encouragement and discouragement on healthy diet habits through diet self-efficacy. Results revealed that men’s eating encouragement was associated with both partner’s better eating habits through each’s own increased diet self-efficacy. Similarly, men’s eating discouragement was associated with both partner’s worse eating habits through each’s own decreased self-efficacy.

Objectives

Participants will identify how eating encouragement or discouragement in couple relationships are associated with actual diet habits
Participants will identify they dyadic links of how couple relationships can affect diet self-efficacy
Participants will know how the study’s findings can be used to tailor and enhance health promotion and education in couple relationships

Perceived Health Benefits of Mothers' and Daughters’ Time Spent in Nature

By Dina Izenstark, Aaron Ebata

Family-based nature activities have the potential to promote both individual health benefits and improved family functioning, but little research has explored why and how parents and children spend time together outside. This study utilizes Routines and Rituals Framework to better understand families’ family-based nature pastimes, the individual health and familial benefits of engagement in nature, and short and long-term challenges that influence frequency of participation. Twenty-five mothers and daughters (ages 10-12) participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was utilized to highlight the role that the natural environment plays in families’ everyday lives and how it contributes to the promotion of individual and familial health.

Objectives

To evaluate the effectiveness of family-based nature activities as a form of individual and family health promotion.To demonstrate the relational, physical, and psychological health benefits of mothers and daughters family-based nature activities.To connect family ritual and routine theory to families everyday nature experiences.

Six-Week Family Health Promotion Program Effective at Increasing Family Routines

By Amber Hammons, Elizabeth Villegas, Margarita Teran-Garcia, Barbara Fiese

Family routines are consistently related to healthier individual functioning in the literature (Abar, Clark, & Koban, 2017; Denham, 2002), with shared family meals making a particularly strong contribution to child and adolescent outcomes  (Levin, Kirby, & Currie, 2012, Hammons & Fiese, 2011). Abriendo Caminos is a culturally tailored health promotion program designed to increase quality family time. Seventy-four mothers were randomized into control (n = 37) or intervention (n = 37) groups. Participation in the six-week family health promotion program was associated with an increase in family routines in Hispanic families.

Objectives

To evaluate the effectiveness of the six-week family-based health promotion program, Abreindo Caminos, in increasing family routines in Hispanic families. To analyze the efficacy of the program using a culturally tailored emphasis. To analyze the program from a family systems perspective.

Let's Eat Actively Together: A Pilot Cooking Intervention for Divorced and Separated Families

By Jeffrey Cookston, Gretchen George

Compared to children from two-parent families, body mass index percentiles were significantly higher for children in single-parent families. During separation and divorce, family routines are interrupted which is worrisome because routines play a key role in the development and maintenance of healthy eating behaviors. In response to evidence linking separation and divorce and obesity, we developed the Let’s Eat Actively Together (Let’s EAT) intervention to (a) intervene in family routines common to divorcing families and to (b) reduce the risk for overweight and obesity by focusing on nutritious eating habits and cooking skills. In the current presentation, we share details on our six-session program and detail observations from the pilot offering of the program. Our presentation will share preliminary results and implications for future work.

Objectives

To summarize the risk for adult obesity associated with childhood experience of parent relationship dissolution.To describe the creation of a six-session family intervention to teach parents and children about healthy eating after a family structure transition. To provide preliminary case study results from the pilot offering of the intervention.

How Fathers Regulate Toddlers' Mealtime Distress: An Observational Study

By Alyssa Parsons, Kelly Bost, Brent McBride, Barbara Fiese

The present study aims to embark upon a systematic understanding of how fathers regulate the distress of their children in a family mealtime environment. 110 families of toddler-aged children were videotaped at dinnertime; these videos are currently being coded for paternal emotion responsiveness. Preliminary results indicate that although a majority of fathers are passively, but sensitively, attending to their children’s distress, a subset are engaging in more active strategies to alleviate it (e.g., instrumental assistance, distraction). Findings are discussed in terms of potential for paternal education and family-oriented interventions.

Objectives

1. To embark upon a systematic understanding of how fathers regulate the distress of their toddler-aged children in a mealtime environment. 2. To develop evidence-based hypotheses about the influence of paternal mealtime emotion responsiveness on child health-related outcomes. 3. To make preliminary recommendations for educating fathers about how to be more sensitively engaged at the dinner table.

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Conference Session