The aim of this study was to examine the mediating effects of specific parenting practices on the association between family socio-economic status (SES) and screen-time of 6- to 9-year-old children from families with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This cross-sectional study, focusing on families with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, used the Belgian baseline data of the Movie Models intervention, integrated within the European Feel4Diabetes intervention, and included 247 parents (57.6% lower SES family; 78.0% mothers) who completed a questionnaire. Mediating effects were tested using MacKinnon's product-of-coefficients test via multilevel linear regression analyses. Being consistent concerning rules about gaming (β = 0.127; standard error = 0.055; 95% CI = 0.020; 0.234) and avoiding negative role modeling concerning TV-time (β = -0.082; standard error = 0.040; 95% CI = -0.161; -0.003) significantly mediated the inverse association between family SES and children's screen-time. Parents from lower SES families were more consistent concerning rules about gaming and watched more TV nearby their child compared to parents from higher SES families, and these parenting practices were related to more screen-time. No other parenting practices were found to mediate this association. Thus, parents from lower SES families with a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes might limit their own TV-time nearby their child to reduce their child's screen-time. Future research should examine other possible mediating factors to develop effective interventions targeting this important at-risk group.
Keywords: TV-time; gaming; parental education; parenting skills.