Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Marilyn Stern


The home environment, parental health attitudes, and parental diet and exercise behaviors have been associated with childhood obesity. The current study utilized a family systems framework to examine the effect of these variables on weight and health changes in a primarily Black sample of 530 parent-adolescent dyads enrolled in a multidisciplinary weight loss intervention. Parent-reported psychosocial variables and demographic information were used to test models predicting changes in adolescents’ body mass index, cholesterol, and percentage body fat over the first six months of the intervention. The effect of parent participation in a psycho-education parent group on adolescent health outcomes was also examined. Several significant demographic, parental, and home environment predictors emerged in the models. By identifying specific aspects of the home environment, parent attitudes, and parent behavior to modify in interventions, these findings have significant implications for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2012