Parental Encouragement of Healthy Behaviours: Adolescent Weight Status and Health-Related Quality of Life (#105)
Obesity is a major health concern for adolescents across most Western societies, with one in four persons in Australia being overweight or obese. Adolescents who are obese are more likely to have lower Health-related Quality of Life (HRQoL) but it is unknown if this is a direct relationship or not. The purpose of this study was to examine whether parental encouragement of healthy behaviors moderated the inverse relationship between adolescent weight status and HRQoL.
Baseline data were collected from 3,040 adolescents participating in the It’s Your Move project, conducted in the Barwon South-West region of Victoria, in 2005. HRQoL was measured using The Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory, and parental encouragement was derived from purposely designed self-report items. Weight status was calculated according to World Health Organization growth standards from measured weight and height. Linear regression analyses modeled direct relationships and interaction terms. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, physical activity level, nutrition and school attended.
Parental encouragement of healthy behaviours significantly moderated the inverse relationship between overweight status and physical functioning. No other interactions were significant. Analysis of main effects revealed that in comparison to low parental encouragement, high levels of encouragement were associated with higher global HRQoL scores, particularly in terms of physical functioning, and to a lesser extent with higher scores on the psychosocial sub-scale. Obese weight status showed a significant inverse association with all HRQoL scales.
Parental encouragement of healthy behavior is associated with higher HRQoL scores for adolescents, however more research is needed to validate the significant interaction effect. Main effects analyses suggest that parental encouragement of healthy behavior is positively associated with adolescent wellbeing and inversely associated with obesity. Thus, parental encouragement may be an additional factor to target when developing preventive and clinical interventions for obesity.