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Relationship between body mass index and family functioning, family communication, family type and parenting style among African migrant parents and children in Victoria, Australia: a parent-child dyad study

Cyril, S., Halliday, J., Green, J. and Renzaho, A.M.N. 2016, Relationship between body mass index and family functioning, family communication, family type and parenting style among African migrant parents and children in Victoria, Australia: a parent-child dyad study, BMC public health, vol. 16, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3394-1.

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Title Relationship between body mass index and family functioning, family communication, family type and parenting style among African migrant parents and children in Victoria, Australia: a parent-child dyad study
Author(s) Cyril, S.
Halliday, J.
Green, J.
Renzaho, A.M.N.
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 16
Article ID 707
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-08-03
ISSN 1471-2458
Keyword(s) African migrants
children
family communication
family dynamics
family functioning
family type
intergenerational
obesity
parenting
Summary BACKGROUND: Although childhood obesity prevalence is stabilised in developed countries including Australia, it is continuing to rise among migrants and socially disadvantaged groups in these countries. African migrants and refugees in particular, are at high risk of obesity due to changes in their family dynamics. The aim of this study was to examine the difference between children and parental perception of family functioning, family communication, family type and parenting styles and their relationship with body mass index. METHODS: A cross-sectional parent-child dyad study was conducted among 284 African families from migrant and refugee backgrounds living in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. Bilingual workers were trained to collect demographic, anthropometric and questionnaire data on family functioning, parenting, family type and family communication. RESULTS: Parents and children reported different levels of family dynamics. Children reported a higher prevalence of poor family functioning (61.5 %, 95 % CI: 55.6, 67.2 versus 56.8 %, 95 % CI: 49.7, 61.6) and protective family type (29 %, 95 % CI: 23.9, 34.5 vs. 13.4 %, 95 % CI: 9.9, 17.9), but a lower prevalence of authoritative parenting style (51.6 %, 95 % CI: 45.7, 57.5 vs. 63 %, 95 % CI: 57.5, 68.8) than parents. There was a positive relationship between poor family functioning and child BMI both before (β = 1.28; 95 % CI: 0.14, 2.41; p < 0.05) and after (β = 1.73; 95 % CI: 0.53, 2.94; p < 0.001) controlling for confounders, and an inverse relationship between consensual family type and child BMI after adjustment (β = -1.92; 95 % CI: -3.59, -0.24; p < 0.05). There was no significant relationship between parental BMI and family functioning, communication, family type or parenting style. CONCLUSION: Children's perception of poor family functioning was associated with childhood obesity. Family interventions to reduce childhood obesity need to adopt an intergenerational approach to promote a clear understanding of family dynamics between children and parents. Unless these intergenerational challenges associated with family dynamics are clearly addressed in obesity interventions, current obesity prevention initiatives will continue to widen the childhood obesity gap in Australia.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-3394-1
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30086256

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.