Material Hardship and Internal Locus of Control Over the Prevention of Child Obesity in Low-Income Hispanic Pregnant Women

Acad Pediatr. 2016 Jul;16(5):468-474. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2016.02.003. Epub 2016 Feb 6.

Abstract

Objective: To determine the relations between household material hardships and having a low internal locus of control over the prevention of child obesity in low-income Hispanic pregnant women.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data collected during a third trimester prenatal visit from women participating in the Starting Early Study, a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a primary care-based family-centered early child obesity prevention intervention. Using multiple logistic regression analyses, we determined whether 4 domains of material hardship (food insecurity, difficulty paying bills, housing disrepair, neighborhood stress), considered individually and also cumulatively, were associated with having a low internal locus of control over the prevention of child obesity.

Results: The sample included 559 low-income Hispanic pregnant women, with 60% having experienced at least 1 hardship. Food insecurity was independently associated with a low internal locus of control over the prevention of child obesity (adjusted odds ratio, 2.38; 95% confidence interval, 1.50-3.77), controlling for other hardships and confounders. Experiencing a greater number of material hardships was associated in a dose-dependent relationship with an increased odds of having a low internal locus of control.

Conclusions: Prenatal material hardships, in particular food insecurity, were associated with having a lower prenatal internal locus of control over the prevention of child obesity. Longitudinal follow-up of this cohort is needed to determine how relations between material hardships and having a low internal locus of control will ultimately affect infant feeding practices and child weight trajectories.

Keywords: infant; locus of control; obesity; poverty; pregnancy; weight.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / psychology
  • Dominican Republic / ethnology
  • Ecuador / ethnology
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Food Supply*
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Mexican Americans
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Poverty / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Pregnant Women / psychology*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • United States