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Open AccessArticle

Examining Constructs of Parental Reflective Motivation towards Reducing Unhealthy Food Provision to Young Children

1
Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, Bedford Park 5042, South Australia, Australia
2
School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5000, South Australia, Australia
3
Health and Biosecurity Flagship, Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation, Adelaide 5000, South Australia, Australia
4
Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood Centre for Research Excellence, Sydney 2006, New South Wales, Australia
5
College of Health and Medicine, The Australian National University, Acton 2600, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1507; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071507
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 27 June 2019 / Published: 1 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Eating Behavior in Children)
Parents are an ideal target to reduce children’s unhealthy food intake. Motivation is one component of behavior change; however, there is a paucity of research exploring parental motivation in unhealthy food provision. This study aimed to understand the relationships between, and relative importance of, constructs of parents’ reflective motivation and children’s intake of unhealthy foods. An online survey captured parent-rated reflective motivation constructs based on the health action process approach (HAPA) model, and children’s intake of unhealthy food using the short food survey. The HAPA model includes constructs of self-efficacy, risk perception, outcome expectancies, intention, and planning. Structural equation modelling was used to examine relationships between constructs and the HAPA model in its structural form. Four-hundred and ninety-five parents of three to seven-year olds completed the study. Model fit statistics (X2 = 210.03, df = 83, p < 0.001; Comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.96; Tucker Lewis index (TLI) = 0.94) supported suitability of the HAPA model. The HAPA model explained 9.2% of the variance in children’s unhealthy food intake. Constructs of self-efficacy (action to maintenance β = 0.69; maintenance to recovery β = 0.70; maintenance to planning β = 0.82) were found to be the most important constructs for reducing children’s unhealthy food intake, followed by planning (to unhealthy food intake β = −0.32) and intention (to planning β = 0.21). This study provides an initial insight into parental motivation and identifies primary intervention targets to enhance parental motivation to reduce unhealthy food provision, and subsequently children’s unhealthy food intake. View Full-Text
Keywords: unhealthy food; motivation; parents; early childhood; health action process approach model; self-efficacy; child nutrition unhealthy food; motivation; parents; early childhood; health action process approach model; self-efficacy; child nutrition
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Johnson, B.J.; Hendrie, G.A.; Zarnowiecki, D.; Huynh, E.K.; Golley, R.K. Examining Constructs of Parental Reflective Motivation towards Reducing Unhealthy Food Provision to Young Children. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1507.

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