Family-based interventions for pediatric obesity: methodological and conceptual challenges from family psychology

J Fam Psychol. 2006 Jun;20(2):175-89. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.20.2.175.


Family-based interventions for pediatric obesity are defined by active parent involvement in treatment. In the current review the authors examine 31 family-based interventions with published outcome data and distinguish 4 categories of family-based interventions: (a) Target a narrow range of parent behaviors related to eating/exercise and assess change only in terms of child eating, exercise, or weight; (b) target a similarly narrow range of parent behaviors but nevertheless assess program-related changes in general parenting skills or family functioning; (c) target a broad range of parent behaviors related to general parenting and family functioning but do not assess program-related changes in these areas; and (d) target general parenting or family functioning and also assess program-related changes in these areas. The authors highlight methodological and conceptual challenges facing researchers in this area and argue for an even broader family focus in family-based interventions for pediatric obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Family Health
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Family Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Psychology / methods*