Associations Among the Perceived Parent–Child Relationship, Eating Behavior, and Body Weight in Preadolescents: Results from a Community-based Sample

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ObjectiveData on associations between the parent–child relationship, eating behavior, and body weight in a community-based sample of preadolescent children are presented. The aim of our study was to replicate the finding from clinical samples that families of overweight children demonstrate adverse characteristics of the parent–child relationship.MethodsA community-based sample of 373 fourth-grade students was given self-report questionnaires on the perceived parent–child relationship and on eating behavior, and each child's height and weight was measured.ResultsNo meaningful associations between children's body weight and the parent–child relationship were apparent. Deviant eating behavior was strongly linked to an adverse parent–child relationship irrespective of children's body weight.ConclusionsIt is suggested that previous findings from clinical samples of overweight children cannot simply be generalized to the population of overweight children and that deviant eating behavior, not overweight itself, is linked to an adverse parent–child relationship in preadolescent children.

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