Nearly 33% of children are overweight or obese. Research suggests that parenting practices may be related to child eating behavior and BMI. Although existing pediatric weight management treatments make parenting suggestions, no study has tailored treatment and targeted parent-child interactions and parenting style related to obesogenic behaviors. The proposed fellowship training experience will provide the applicant with training in program development and weight management research through the creation of a tailored parenting intervention. This tailored treatment will be adapted from evidence-based parenting interventions (i.e., Parent- Child Interaction Therapy and Collaborative Problem Solving), and it will integrate face-to-face tailored coaching and feedback mailings to promote the use of authoritative parenting strategies and positive interactions and target two obesogenic behaviors (sugar-sweetened beverage intake and physical inactivity). The applicant will evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of the resulting tailored treatment for overweight/obese parent-child dyads. In this feasibility study, 40 overweight/obese parent-child dyads (children 6-11 years old) will be randomly assigned to receive either tailored treatment (i.e., tailored coaching session + tailored feedback mailings) or nutrition and exercise handouts from well-established sources. All participants will complete baseline and 1-month follow-up assessments (which will include objective measurement of physical activity and weight, beverage self-monitoring data, and behavioral observations of parent-child interactions). This work is novel in its approach to pediatric weight management because it: 1) uses evidence-based parenting techniques that have been demonstrated to be effective in non- health related behavior change studies but have not yet been extended to target obesogenic behaviors;and 2) is a brief intervention that combines tailored face-to-face coaching with tailored mailings. Successful changes in targeted obesogenic behaviors and BMI could contribute to the future reduction of chronic disease, morbidity and mortality. In addition to the proposed research, the applicant's completion of coursework and seminars will enhance her general knowledge of research methodology and provide formal training in issues specific to pediatric interventions, nutrition, clinical trials, and multivariate statistics. The applicant also will develop research competencies (e.g., grantsmanship, design of epidemiologic studies) and publish manuscripts specifically related to weight management and physical activity. The applicant's mentors, as well as a Research Advisory Committee comprised of senior researchers with substantial research experience and NIH funding, will provide mentorship and feedback to the applicant regarding professional milestones related to publication, grant submission, professional licensure, and other key activities that will help to launch her independent career. Overall, the proposed fellowship experience will prepare the applicant for a career as an independent clinical investigator in an academic research setting.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research has the potential to 1) promote healthy lifestyle behaviors and decrease BMI, which may help to reduce chronic disease morbidity and mortality;and 2) promote positive and effective parent-child interactions that are related to a number of positive outcomes, including healthier diets.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F11-L (20))
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Haverkos, Lynne
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Temple University
Other Health Professions
Schools of Allied Health Profes
United States
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Hayes, Sharon; Napolitano, Melissa A; Lent, Michelle R et al. (2015) The effect of insurance status on pre- and post-operative bariatric surgery outcomes. Obes Surg 25:191-4
Hayes, Sharon; Stoeckel, Nina; Napolitano, Melissa A et al. (2015) Examination of the Beck Depression Inventory-II Factor Structure Among Bariatric Surgery Candidates. Obes Surg 25:1155-60