Longitudinal intervention effects on parenting of the Aventuras para Niños study

Am J Prev Med. 2010 Feb;38(2):154-62. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.09.038.


Background: Parenting interventions have achieved changes in factors associated with childhood obesity but few have tested the effects on multiple parental influences.

Purpose: This study examined the efficacy of an intervention aimed at improving several dimensions of parenting related to childhood obesity.

Design: The study used a 2 x 2 factorial design.

Setting/participants: In 2003, a sample of 13 Southern California schools was randomized to one of four conditions: micro-environment only, macro-environment only, micro-plus-macro-environment, and no treatment control condition. Participants included 811 predominantly Mexican immigrant/Mexican-American mothers with children in kindergarten through second grade.

Intervention: In both micro conditions, participants received monthly home visits by a promotora over a 7-month period plus monthly mailed newsletters.

Main outcome measures: In 2008, intervention effects were examined on (1) parenting strategies, including limit setting, monitoring, discipline, control, and reinforcement related to children's diet and physical activity; (2) parental support for physical activity; (3) parent-mediated family behaviors such as family meals eaten together and TV watching during family dinners; and (4) perceived barriers and other parent cognitions related to children's eating and activity.

Results: At the 2-year follow-up, significant improvements were observed in three of five parenting strategies, parental support, and two of four parent-mediated family behaviors among parents receiving the micro intervention (i.e., those who received promotora visits and monthly newsletters), as compared with those in the macro-only and control conditions.

Conclusions: Aspects of parenting related to children's risk for obesity and related health outcomes are modifiable with the support of a promotora and print media.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Parenting / ethnology*
  • Parents / education*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior