Nicole Somogy

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. School Psychology-Professional School Psychology


Educational Services, Administration, and Higher Education


College of Education


Allen, Terri


Obesity in children; African-American parents


Child Psychology | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


The purpose of this study was to explore the feeding practices of minority children specifically looking at African Americans from birth to 11 years old to see if there are any red flags so that professionals can be alerted for a concern with obesity. Previous research conducted on feeding styles and patterns of adults have shown some clues as how a parent plays a key role in the etiology of childhood obesity (Chaidez & Kaiser, 2011). One strategy that is used when looking at obesity is to look at physical activity as well as parenting styles which includes authoritative, authoritarian, and positive reinforcement (Kitzman-Ulrich, Wilson, St. George, Lawman, Segal & Fairchild, 2010). Today 35.2 percent of non- Hispanic Black youths between the ages of 2-19 are overweight and or obese (Ogden et al., 2012). This has increased over the last decade; the percentage of African American children has jumped from 10.7 percent to 19.8 percent (Ashcraft, 2012). This study specifically looking to find if there was a correlation between ethnicity and parenting styles. To look at this theory, surveys were given out to graduate students at Rowan University, specifically parents for them to fill out about their feeding practices of their children. The surveys were given out over a week length to random graduate courses on campus. The results of the data collected showed that there was no connection between ethnicity and parenting styles, but that there was a significance in parenting styles and feeding practices.