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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Associations of Parental General Monitoring with Adolescent Weight-Related Behaviors and Weight Status.

  • Author(s): Kim, Kay W
  • Wallander, Jan L
  • Felt, John M
  • Elliott, Marc N
  • Schuster, Mark A
  • et al.

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OBJECTIVE:This study examined how parental general monitoring (PGM), which refers to parental awareness of adolescents' activities in various domains, is associated with adolescents' weight status and related behaviors and whether these relationships differ among racial/ethnic groups. METHODS:Data are from 4,088 Black, Latino, and White youth assessed in seventh grade (mean age = 13.06). BMI percentile based on measured height and weight indicated weight status. PGM was assessed by adolescent report of parents' awareness of money spending, friends, and whereabouts. Adolescents reported both healthy and unhealthy dietary intake (DI), physical activity, and screen time over the past 7 days. Total sample and multigroup structural models were estimated. RESULTS:PGM was associated with lower weight status for the total sample, as well as being positively associated with healthy DI and physical activity and inversely associated with screen time across racial/ethnic groups. PGM was also inversely associated with unhealthy DI, except for in Black adolescents. There was an indirect effect from PGM to lower weight status via reduced screen time among Latino and White adolescents. CONCLUSIONS:Positive outcomes associated with PGM are extended to weight status and related behaviors. Efforts at improving weight status and related behaviors could benefit from addressing general parenting practices with their children.

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