Parenting Self-Efficacy, Parent Depression, and Healthy Childhood Behaviors in a Low-Income Minority Population: A Cross-Sectional Analysis
Objectives Childhood obesity prevention and treatment depends, in part, on parents acting as agents of change for their children. Our objective was to measure the associations between parenting self-efficacy, parent depressive symptoms, and preschool child behaviors that support healthy growth. Methods We performed a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a randomized controlled trial. Parenting self-efficacy was measured using a 5-item version of the Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC-5) scale (α= 0.8). Parent depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CESD) scale. Child outcomes included diet (24 h diet recall), physical activity (accelerometry), sleep (parent-report), and media use during meals (parent-report). We performed separate multiple linear regressions for each outcome controlling for other covariates. Results The sample consisted of 601 parent–child pairs. Median child age was 4.3 (IQR 3.6–5.1) years; median child body mass index (BMI) percentile was 79.1% (IQR 66.8–88.5%); 90% of children were Hispanic/Latino, and 6% of children were non-Hispanic Black. Median parent age was 31.5 (IQR 27.6–36.0) years; 22% of parents met criteria for depression. Parenting self-efficacy (median PSOC-5 25; IQR 24–28) was negatively correlated with depressive symptoms (ρ = −0.16; p < 0.001). In adjusted models, higher parenting self-efficacy was associated with duration of child’s sleep and fewer meals eaten in front of a TV (p < 0.001). There was a significant interaction of parenting self-efficacy and parental depressive symptoms on child sleep duration (p < 0.001). Parenting self-efficacy and depressive symptoms were not significantly associated with child physical activity or child diet. Conclusions In this minority population, higher parenting self-efficacy was associated with longer child sleep and fewer meals in front the TV, but parent depressive symptoms mitigated that protective effect for child sleep duration.
KeywordsPediatric obesity Self-efficacy Parenting Depression
This research was supported by Grants U01 HL103620 and U01 Hl103561 with additional support from the remaining members of the COPTR Consortium (U01 HL103622, U01 HD068890, U01 HL103629) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute, the National Institutes of Health, or the National Institute of Child Health and Development. Additional funding was from the following Grants from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: P30DK050456 and P30DK092924. Dr. Heerman’s time was supported by a T32 Grant from the NICHD (5T32HD060554) and a K12 Grant from the AHRQ (1K12HS022990). Data were managed through REDCap, which is supported from NCATS (UL1 TR000445). Collection of diet data was supported by NORC Grant number NIH DK56350.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
None of the authors have any competing interests to declare.
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