Thumbnail Image

Parenting Style Differences in Overweight versus Non-Overweight Children and the Potential Moderating Effects of Socioeconomic Status and Ethnicity

Rutledge, Julie Marie
This project sought to expand on the limited literature currently available on parenting styles and childhood overweight and to give a better understanding of the environmental correlates of childhood overweight. Since parenting occurs within the greater environment, other factors, including the family's SES and ethnicity, may play a role. Native American mothers were more permissive and their children were more overweight than their European American counterparts. More permissive mothers were more likely to have a child who was at-risk or overweight than less permissive mothers. More authoritarian mothers were less likely to have a child who was at-risk or overweight than less authoritarian mothers. Logistic regression analyses revealed that the interaction between permissive parenting style and SES was positive and significant. Permissiveness predicted higher levels of overweight at high SES and slightly lower level of overweight at low SES and the difference in overweight between these two levels was significant.