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Children 2017, 4(4), 29; doi:10.3390/children4040029

Parent, partner, co-parent or partnership? The need for clarity as family systems thinking takes hold in the quest to motivate behavioural change

1
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle 2308, Australia
2
Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 19 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
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Abstract

Research is increasingly pointing to the importance of extending the focus of childhood obesity intervention to include fathers, fathering figures, and other members of a child’s primary parenting network. Advances in communication technology are now making it possible to achieve this aim, within current resources, using modalities such text messaging, web-based resources and apps that extend intervention to parents not in attendance at face to face interactions. However, published research is often unclear as to which parent/s they targeted or engaged with, whether interventions planned to influence behaviours and capabilities across family systems, and how this can be achieved. As childhood obesity research employing information technology to engage with family systems takes hold it is becoming important for researchers clearly describe who they engage with, what they hope to achieve with them, and the pathways of influence that they aim to activate. This paper integrates extant knowledge on family systems thinking, parenting efficacy, co-parenting, and family intervention with the way parents are represented and reported in childhood obesity research. The paper concludes with recommendations on terminology that can be used to describe parents and parenting figures in future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: parenting; obesity; fathering; co-parenting; family-Systems; childhood; child; overweight parenting; obesity; fathering; co-parenting; family-Systems; childhood; child; overweight
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MDPI and ACS Style

May, C.; Chai, L.K.; Burrows, T. Parent, partner, co-parent or partnership? The need for clarity as family systems thinking takes hold in the quest to motivate behavioural change. Children 2017, 4, 29.

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