The effect of parental monitoring on trajectories of disordered eating attitudes and behaviors among adolescents: An individual growth curve analysis.
The primary aim of the present study was to examine whether parental monitoring, as reported by adolescents and their parents, predicts more or less favorable trajectories of disordered eating behavior and attitudes over the course of one year in a sample of adolescent males and females. An additional aim was to explore whether these trajectories vary when study analyses are limited to females. Participants included 87 adolescents (mean age = 15.5 ± 1.4) in mental health treatment and their parents. Self-report measures included the Parental Monitoring Questionnaire, completed at baseline, and the Eating Attitudes Test-Dieting Subscale, completed at baseline as well as 6-month and 12-month follow-ups. Individual growth curve (IGC) analyses were used to examine change in disordered eating behavior and attitudes. Adolescents who reported lower parental monitoring showed trajectories characterized by increases in disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. The same pattern emerged when using parent report of monitoring, though only a trend was evident. When analyses were restricted to females, the main effect of parental and adolescent report of monitoring on disordered eating were equally strong. Results may suggest that parents who are less knowledgeable about their adolescents' daily lives, may be less aware of potential disordered eating attitudes and behaviors, and thus less likely to intervene. Findings could be used to inform family-based interventions for this population.
Martinson, LE; Esposito-Smythers, C; Blalock, DV
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