To examine the unique and additive associations of family functioning and parenting practices with adolescent disordered eating behaviors (i.e.; dieting, unhealthy weight control behaviors, binge eating). Data from EAT (Eating and Activity in Teens) 2010, a population-based study assessing eating and activity among racially/ethnically and socio-economically diverse adolescents (n = 2,793; mean age = 14.4, SD = 2.0; age range = 11-19) was used. Logistic regression models were used to examine associations between adolescent dieting and disordered eating behaviors and family functioning and parenting variables, including interactions. All analyses controlled for demographics and body mass index. Higher family functioning, parent connection, and parental knowledge about child's whereabouts (e.g. who child is with, what they are doing, where they are at) were significantly associated with lower odds of engaging in dieting and disordered eating behaviors in adolescents, while parent psychological control was associated with greater odds of engaging in dieting and disordered eating behaviors. Although the majority of interactions were non-significant, parental psychological control moderated the protective relationship between family functioning and disordered eating behaviors in adolescent girls. Clinicians and health care providers may want to discuss the importance of balancing specific parenting behaviors, such as increasing parent knowledge about child whereabouts while decreasing psychological control in order to enhance the protective relationship between family functioning and disordered eating behaviors in adolescents.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments Research is supported by grant number R01HL084064 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Dianne Neumark-Sztainer). Dr. Berge’s time is supported by a grant from Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Grant administered by the Deborah E. Powell Center for Women’s Health at the University of Minnesota, grant Number K12HD055887 from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development. 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 Institute of Child Health and Human Development or the National Institutes of Health.
- Binge eating
- Family functioning
- Weight control behaviors