Association between Fathers' and Mothers' Parenting Styles and the Risk of Overweight/Obesity among Adolescents in San José Province, Costa Rica

Nutrients. 2022 Dec 15;14(24):5328. doi: 10.3390/nu14245328.


Parenting styles are a risk factor for adolescents overweight/obesity worldwide, but this association is not well understood in the context of Latin America. This study examines the association between the parenting styles of mothers and fathers and the risk of overweight/obesity among Costa Rican adolescents. Data are cross-sectional from a sample of adolescents (13-18 years old) enrolled in ten urban and eight rural schools (n = 18) in the province of San José, Costa Rica, in 2017. Hierarchical logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the likelihood of adolescents being overweight according to the mothers' and fathers' parenting styles. A significant association was found between the risk of adolescent overweight/obesity and the paternal authoritarian style only in rural areas (B = 0.622, SE = 0.317, Wald = 3.864, ExpB = 1.863, p = 0.04), and between said risk and the paternal permissive style only in male adolescents (B = 0.901, SE = 0.435, Wald = 4.286, ExpB = 2.461, p = 0.038). For maternal parenting styles, no associations reached significant levels once logistic regression models were adjusted for the fathers' parenting styles. These findings underscore the importance of further studying the role of fathers' paternal parenting styles on Latin American adolescent weight outcomes. Expanding our understanding of the parenting styles of fathers has important implications for the design and implementation of culturally- and gender-appropriate family interventions.

Keywords: Costa Rica; adolescents; obesity; overweight; parenting styles.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Costa Rica / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fathers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Overweight* / epidemiology
  • Overweight* / etiology
  • Parenting
  • Pediatric Obesity* / epidemiology
  • Pediatric Obesity* / etiology