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The Empowerment of Low-Income Parents Engaged in a Childhood Obesity Intervention

Jurkowski, Janine M. PhD, MPH; Lawson, Hal A. PhD; Green Mills, Lisa L. RN, MPH; Wilner, Paul G. III MA; Davison, Kirsten K. PhD

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000024
Original Articles

Parents influence children's obesity risk factors but are infrequently targeted for interventions. This study targeting low-income parents integrated a community-based participatory research approach with the Family Ecological Model and Empowerment Theory to develop a childhood obesity intervention. This article (1) examines pre- to postintervention changes in parents' empowerment; (2) determines the effects of intervention dose on empowerment, and (3) determines whether changes in parent empowerment mediate previous changes identified in food-, physical activity–, and screen-related parenting. The pre-post quasi-experimental design evaluation demonstrated positive changes in parent empowerment and empowerment predicted improvement in parenting practices. The integrated model applied in this study provides a means to enhance intervention relevance and guide translation to other childhood obesity and health disparities studies.

Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior, School of Public Health (Dr Jurkowski and Ms Green Mills), and Department of Educational Administration & Policy Studies (Drs Lawson and Wilner) and School of Social Welfare (Dr Lawson), University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York; and Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Davison).

Correspondence: Janine M. Jurkowski, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior, School of Public Health, 1 University Place, Room 160, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12144 (jjurkowski@albany.edu).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins