Adolescent Food Choice: Developing and Evaluating a Model of Parental Influence

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Virginia Tech

The following research integrated the Theory of Planned Behavior with variables from the consumer socialization and parenting literatures to explore parental impact on adolescent food decision-making. Three specific types of parenting practices (expectation, monitoring, and inducement/enforcement behaviors), parenting style, and family communication style were investigated. A multi-method approach was taken to develop and test the integrated model. Study 1 used interviews to identify food-related parental expectation, monitoring, and inducement/enforcement behaviors reported by both normal and overweight parents and adolescents. Study 2 evaluated a structural model of adolescent food choice, including predictors from the Theory of Planned Behavior, the food-related parenting practices identified in the interviews, parenting style, and family communication style. The findings suggest that specific parenting practices have an impact on adolescent food choices beyond predictors from the TPB.

Theory of Planned Behavior, parental monitoring, consumer socialization, adolescent obesity