A Qualitative Study of Family Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors of Mexican-American and Mexican Immigrant Fathers and Mothers

Published:February 12, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2013.12.010

      Abstract

      This study qualitatively examines contrasting parental decision-making styles about family food choices and physical activities as well as willingness to change behaviors among Mexican-American and Mexican immigrant mothers and fathers of school-aged children. Twelve sex-specific focus groups were held in English or Spanish in 2012. Qualitative analysis informed by grounded theory examined parenting styles (ie, authoritative, authoritarian, or permissive), barriers to healthy lifestyle, and parents’ stage of change about healthy lifestyles. One third of the 33 participating couples were born in Mexico. The majority of mothers and fathers described being permissive and allowing unhealthy food choices, and a minority of mothers reported more authoritarian approaches to promoting a healthier diet for their children. Mothers were more permissive than fathers about family physical activities and less engaged in these activities. Most mothers and fathers described only contemplating a healthier diet and more physical activity, while wanting their children to have a healthier lifestyle. These data suggest that clinicians need to assess and address differential parental roles when promoting a healthy lifestyle for children. Clinicians should also adopt culturally competent approaches to overcome barriers to parental engagement in diverse aspects of a healthy family lifestyle.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • King D.E.
        • Mainous 3rd, A.G.
        • Carnemolla M.
        • Everett C.J.
        Adherence to healthy lifestyle habits in US adults, 1988-2006.
        Am J Med. 2009; 122: 528-534
        • Larios S.B.
        Development and validation of a scale to measure Latino parenting strategies related to children’s obesigenic behaviors: The Parenting strategies for Eating and Activity Scale (PEAS).
        Appetite. 2009; 52: 166-172
        • Johnson R.
        • Welk G.
        • Saint-Maurice P.F.
        • Ihmels M.
        Parenting styles and home obesogenic environments.
        Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2012; 9: 1411-1426
        • Matheson D.M.
        • Robinson T.N.
        • Varady A.
        • Killen J.D.
        Do Mexican-American mothers' food-related parenting practices influence their children's weight and dietary intake?.
        J Am Diet Assoc. 2006; 106: 1861-1865
        • Gerards S.M.
        • Sleddens E.F.
        • Dagnelie P.C.
        • de Vries N.K.
        • Kremers S.P.
        Interventions addressing general parenting to prevent or treat childhood obesity.
        Int J Pediatr Obes. 2011; 6: e28-e45
        • Ayala G.X.
        • Elder J.P.
        • Campbell N.R.
        • et al.
        Longitudinal intervention effects on parenting of the Aventuras para Niños study.
        Am J Prev Med. 2010; 38: 154-162
        • Boutelle K.N.
        • Cafri G.
        • Crow S.J.
        Parent predictors of child weight change in family based behavioral obesity treatment.
        Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012; 20: 1539-1543
      1. Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. Health7 Obesity: Percentage of children ages 6-17 who are obese by age, race and Hispanic origin and gender, selected years 1976-2010. http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/tables/health7.asp. Accessed October 11, 2013.

      2. US Census Bureau. Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012. www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0067.pdf. Accessed August 27, 2012.

        • Maccoby E.E.
        • Martin J.A.
        Socialization in the context of the family: Parent-child interaction.
        in: Mussen P.H. Hetherington E.M. Handbook of Child Psychology: Socialization, Personality, and Social Development. 4th ed. Wiley, New York, NY1983: 1-101
        • Norcross J.C.
        • Krebs P.M.
        • Prochaska J.O.
        Stages of change.
        J Clin Psychol. 2011; 67: 143-154
        • Glaser B.G.
        • Strauss A.
        The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research.
        Aldine Transaction, New York, NY1967
        • Institute of Medicine
        Obesity prevention policies for young children.
        in: Birch L.L. Burns A.C. Committee on Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children. National Academies Press, Washington, DC2011
        • Arredondo E.M.
        • Elder J.P.
        • Ayala G.X.
        • Campbell N.
        • Baquero B.
        • Duerksen S.
        Is parenting style related to children's healthy eating and physical activity in Latino families?.
        Health Educ Res. 2006; 21: 862-871
        • Olvera N.
        • Power T.G.
        Brief report: Parenting styles and obesity in Mexican American children: A longitudinal study.
        J Pediatr Psychol. 2010; 35: 243-249
        • Blissett J.
        Relationships between parenting style, feeding style and feeding practices and fruit and vegetable consumption in early childhood.
        Appetite. 2011; 57: 826-831
        • Hennessy E.
        • Hughes S.O.
        • Goldberg J.P.
        • Hyatt R.R.
        • Economos C.D.
        Parent-child interactions and objectively measured child physical activity: A cross-sectional study.
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010; 7: 71-84
        • Anderson C.B.
        • Hughes S.O.
        • Fuemmeler B.F.
        Parent-child attitude congruence on type and intensity of physical activity: Testing multiple mediators of sedentary behavior in older children.
        Health Psychol. 2009; 28: 428-438
      3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC cultural insights: Communicating with Hispanics/Latinos. http://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication. Accessed October 11, 2013.

        • Yin Z.
        • Parra-Medina D.
        • Cordova A.
        • et al.
        Míranos! Look at us, we are healthy! An environmental approach to early childhood obesity prevention.
        Child Obes. 2012; 8: 429-439
      4. Patlak M, Ramirez AG, Gallion KJ. Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children. http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/issue_briefs/2013/rwjf406414. Accessed October 11, 2013.

      Biography

      B. J. Turner is director, ReACH Center, and professor of medicine and adjunct professor of family and community medicine, University of Texas, Health Science Center San Antonio; and adjunct professor, University of Texas School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

      Biography

      N. Navuluri is an MD and MPH student, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

      Biography

      P. Winkler is director of the South Central Area Health Education Center, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

      Biography

      S. Vale is a data analyst, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

      Biography

      E. Finley is an anthropologist and qualitative data analyst, Veterans Evidence-Based Research, Dissemination, and Implementation Center (VERDICT), South Texas Veterans Health Care System; adjunct assistant professor, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; and adjunct assistant professor, The University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston.