Objective: To describe ethnic disparities in parental confidence managing child weight-related behaviors.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of 59 parents of children with obesity between 4 and 7 years of age presenting to a tertiary care pediatric weight management clinic. Parents completed a validated measure assessing their confidence managing their child's weight-related behaviors (parent confidence score). Student's t-tests and linear regression analyses were used to determine parent and child characteristics associated with parent confidence score.
Results: Families were ethnically diverse with half being of Hispanic ethnicity. Mean parent confidence score was 159 (SD 66) with 71% of parents with parent confidence scores below the clinical cut-off for the measure. Parent confidence score was lower among Hispanic (mean 133, SD 67) compared to non-Hispanic parents (mean 184, SD 55, p < 0.01). Parent confidence score was most strongly associated with parental ethnicity (β = -0.39, p = 0.002, adjusted R(2) = 0.14).
Conclusion: Parental confidence managing weight-related behaviors was low among parents of young obese children, especially those of Hispanic ethnicity.
Practice implications: This study highlights the need to assess parental confidence in managing weight-related behaviors as part of pediatric obesity care and to provide counseling to improve parental management of weight-related behaviors in a culturally-appropriate manner.
Keywords: Child obesity; Ethnic disparities; Motivational interviewing; Parent confidence.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.