Associations between household food insecurity, parental self-efficacy and fruit and vegetable parenting practices among parents of 5-8 year old overweight children
Food insecurity may negatively impact children's dietary intake by affecting parenting quality. This study investigated whether food insecurity influences parental self-efficacy and parenting practices to promote fruit and vegetable consumption. A secondary analysis was conducted using baseline data from 31 mothers of 5-8 year old overweight children who participated in an obesity treatment program. Household food security status, parental self-efficacy (modeling/socialization, planning/encouraging and availability/accessibility) and parenting practices (structure, responsiveness, non-directive control, and external control) were assessed using validated measures. Independent t-tests compared differences by food security status. Results showed no significant differences between food-secure and insecure groups. A trend towards a decrease in parental self-efficacy to make fruit and vegetables available and accessible at home was observed in the food-insecure group. This finding supports further hypothesis-driven research examining the impact of food insecurity on parental self-efficacy and food-related parenting practices.