Early life stress and trauma have been associated with adult overweight and obesity and increasingly with childhood obesity risk. Positive parenting can buffer children from the effects of stress. Yet, it can be difficult for parents who are facing multiple stressors (poverty, trauma) to provide such buffering without support. Parenting that is characterized by harsh, negative, or inconsistent behaviors has also been found to be associated with increased risk for childhood obesity. Parenting is thus a possible behavioral pathway from stress exposure to childhood obesity risk. Parenting is also modifiable.
Mom Power Plus is a pilot study to adapt and test an evidence-based parenting intervention to address general parenting beliefs and behaviors as well as maternal feeding beliefs and behaviors among mothers of preschool-aged children. We will administer the adapted intervention to families and assess mother and child behaviors during a feeding interaction.
This research is a collaboration with Dr. Megan Pesch, Dr. Katherine Rosenblum, Dr. Maria Muzik and Dr. Jamie Lawler and is funded by the Momentum Center at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.