Parental Confidence in Making Overweight-Related Behavior Changes

The objective of this study was to identify parent, child and clinician characteristics associated with higher parental confidence in their ability to make overweight-related behavior changes for their family. The authors interviewed 446 parents of children, aged 2 to 12 years, with a BMI of >85th percentile and surveyed their pediatric clinicians (N=75). The main outcome was parental confidence in their ability to make overweight-related behavior changes. The study derived a continuous parental confidence score from six questions regarding parental confidence in limiting television viewing, removing televisions from children’s bedrooms, reducing fast-food intake, reducing sugar-sweetened beverage intake, increasing physical activity, and improving overall eating patterns for their family. They used multiple linear regression to predict the effects of parent, child, and clinician characteristics on the parents’ confidence scores.

The mean (SD) score on the parental confidence scale was 13.0 (3.5), and the range was 0.0 to 24.0. In multivariable analyses, parents who said their clinicians assessed their confidence or who said that their clinicians assessed their readiness to change reported higher levels of confidence compared with parents whose clinicians did not assess confidence or readiness to change.