|Abstract or Summary
- Family influence in the home environment has been linked to children’s nutrition and physical activity behaviors. However few tools exist to identify family level behaviors and families’ readiness to change those behaviors, particularly for populations at high risk for obesity such as Hispanics. This study summarizes the relationships of similar items between a newly created family obesity-preventing behavior screening tool (Family Stage of Change [FSOC] Survey), and a validated screening tool that measures both family and child-level behaviors shown to predict child obesity (Family Nutrition and Physical Activity [FNPA] screening tool). Of particular interest for this study was whether responses on these surveys differed between Hispanic and non-Hispanic families to determine potential validity of the FSOC instrument for use with Hispanic families. Study participants included parents and caregivers (N=66) of children ages 2-14 years recruited through preschool, elementary, and middle school listservs and through word of mouth. Descriptive analyses were conducted on the demographic data, and correlations were run to examine associations between FSOC and FNPA items. Mean Domain, and Total scores were analyzed for differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic responders. After stratifying respondents by education level, a second set of correlations was conducted to better understand the role of education on participant responses. Moderate to strong correlations were observed between the
individual items (0.33 to 0.97, p<0.05). When correlations were examined by education level, the strength of several correlations decreased substantially with the lowest correlations observed among those with the lowest education level. Significant differences were also examined between FNPA and FSOC domain scores. On the FNPA Hispanics had lower FNPA mean summary score relative to Eating Behaviors (EB; 19 + 3.3 vs. 20.6 + 1.8, p=0.02)) and Screen Time Behaviors (ST; 6.1 + 1.7 vs. 6.9 + 1.5, p=0.04). On the FSOC Hispanics had lower mean individual and mean summary scores in the PA and Sleep Behavior domains (p<0.05). In conclusion, additional research is needed to determine if the FSOC is a valid and reliable instrument and has the potential to meet an identified need related to family-directed, obesity prevention efforts for Hispanic families, or any families when the caregiver has low education.