Besides other explanatory variables, parenting styles and parental violence might also be responsible for setting a path towards overweight/obesity in childhood. While this association has consistently been observed for adults, findings for adolescents still remain scarce and inconsistent. Therefore, the goal of this study is to add evidence on this topic for children and adolescents. Analyses are based on a sample of 1729 German, ninth-grade students. To analyze associations between parenting dimensions and weight status, non-parametric conditional inference trees were applied. Three gender-specific pathways for a heightened risk of overweight/obesity were observed: (1) female adolescents who report having experienced severe parental physical abuse and medium/high parental warmth in childhood; (2) male adolescents who report having experienced low or medium parental monitoring in childhood; and (3) this second pathway for male adolescents is more pronounced if the families receive welfare. The importance of promoting parenting styles characterized by warmth and a lack of physical abuse is also discussed. This is one of only a few studies examining the association of parenting dimensions/parental physical abuse and weight status in adolescence. Future studies should include even more parenting dimensions, as well as parental physical abuse levels, in order to detect and untangle gender-specific effects on weight status.
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