To reduce the risk of pediatric obesity, behaviorally-focused parental education is needed. This study examined the feasibility of guided goal setting in a pediatric obesity prevention intervention for low-income parents of young children. Parents from Head Start participated in a six-week nutrition, activity, and parenting intervention that included guided goal setting (N = 47). At each session, data were collected on goal selection, effort, and attainment. Pre- and postintervention data were collected on nutrition, activity, and child feeding behaviors (n = 24). A subset of parents completed in-depth interviews (n = 20). Parents reported a high level of goal effort (88%) and achievement (79%) and a preference for goal personalization and a list of goals from which to choose. In general, parents did not find the goal contract or weekly tracking as motivating as goal personalization. Pre- and postintervention assessment showed significant changes in the dietary energy density (p = .008) and vegetable behavior (p = .04) subscales with a marginal change in the snacking subscale (p = .08). Guided goal setting was a feasible behavioral strategy for the parents in this study since parents engaged in the process and demonstrated changes in serving more vegetables and fewer energy-dense foods.
Shilts, M. K., Sitnic, S. L., Ontai, L., & Townsend, M. S. (2018). Guided Goal Setting: A Feasible Obesity Prevention Behavior Change Strategy for Low-Income Parents with Young Children. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 6(3), 11. https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/jhse/vol6/iss3/11
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