Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Suzanne Mazzeo, PhD

Second Advisor

Laura Thornton, PhD

Third Advisor

Natalie Dautovich, PhD


Pediatric obesity has been associated with significant decrements in pediatric quality of life (QOL) comparable with severe pediatric diseases such as cancer. Parenting interventions have yielded health benefits for children with obesity; however, few studies have investigated the impact of parent-focused interventions on QOL in children with overweight and obesity. This study investigated the impact of a 6-week intensive parenting intervention program on the QOL of 5-12 year old, predominantly Black children with overweight and obesity. Parents were randomized into either the parenting intervention (NOURISH+) or a control group, and QOL, as well as variables related to child and parenting health-related behaviors, were measured at both baseline and post-intervention. Linear mixed models revealed that participants in both the control and intervention groups reported significant QOL improvements at post-intervention, however significant differences between control and intervention groups were only observed for the school QOL subscale. Sensitivity analyses identified an influence of race on QOL scores, Black children reported significantly lower QOL compared with White participants, furthermore younger (5 to <9 years) Black children reported the lowest QOL scores at baseline and post-testing compared with same age white children and older (9-12 years) Black and White children. Regression analyses revealed that BMI%ile, moderate physical activity, and parent feeding behaviors were associated with child QOL at baseline; parent feeding behaviors alone were associated with post-intervention QOL scores. These findings highlight the impact of obesity on QOL, particularly in younger, Black children, a group that is often overlooked in research. More research is needed on the impact of parent-focused interventions on QOL scores in children with obesity, particularly in minoritized groups.


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