Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 15
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Aftosmes-Tobio, Alyssa Ganter, Claudia Gicevic, Selma Newlan, Sami Simon, Christine L. Davison, Kirsten K. and Manganello, Jennifer A. 2016. A systematic review of media parenting in the context of childhood obesity research. BMC Public Health, Vol. 16, Issue. 1,

    Doub, Allison E. Small, Meg and Birch, Leann L. 2016. A call for research exploring social media influences on mothers' child feeding practices and childhood obesity risk. Appetite, Vol. 99, p. 298.

    Doub, Allison E. Small, Meg and Birch, Leann 2016. An Exploratory Analysis of Child Feeding Beliefs and Behaviors Included in Food Blogs Written by Mothers of Preschool-Aged Children. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Vol. 48, Issue. 2, p. 93.

    Mech, P. Hooley, M. Skouteris, H. and Williams, J. 2016. Parent-related mechanisms underlying the social gradient of childhood overweight and obesity: a systematic review. Child: Care, Health and Development, Vol. 42, Issue. 5, p. 603.

    Bauer, Katherine W. MacLehose, Rich Loth, Katie A. Fisher, Jennifer O. Larson, Nicole I. and Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne 2015. Eating- and Weight-Related Parenting of Adolescents in the Context of Food Insecurity. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol. 115, Issue. 9, p. 1408.

    Blaine, Rachel E Pbert, Lori Geller, Alan C Powers, E Michael and Mitchell, Kathleen 2015. Parent preferences for telephone coaching to prevent and manage childhood obesity. Postgraduate Medical Journal, Vol. 91, Issue. 1074, p. 206.

    Ganter, Claudia Chuang, Emmeline Aftosmes-Tobio, Alyssa Blaine, Rachel E. Giannetti, Mary Land, Thomas and Davison, Kirsten K. 2015. Community Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Barriers to Childhood Obesity Prevention in Low-Income Families, Massachusetts 2012–2013. Preventing Chronic Disease, Vol. 12,

    Mena, Noereem Z. Gorman, Kathleen Dickin, Kate Greene, Geoffrey and Tovar, Alison 2015. Contextual and Cultural Influences on Parental Feeding Practices and Involvement in Child Care Centers among Hispanic Parents. Childhood Obesity, Vol. 11, Issue. 4, p. 347.

    Parra-Medina, Deborah Liang, Yuanyuan Yin, Zenong Esparza, Laura and Lopez, Louis 2015. Weight Outcomes of Latino Adults and Children Participating in the Y Living Program, a Family-Focused Lifestyle Intervention, San Antonio, 2012–2013. Preventing Chronic Disease, Vol. 12,

    Verbestel, V. De Henauw, S. Barba, G. Eiben, G. Gallois, K. Hadjigeorgiou, C. Konstabel, K. Maes, L. Mårild, S. Molnár, D. Moreno, L. A. Oja, L. Pitsiladis, Y. Ahrens, W. Pigeot, I. and De Bourdeaudhuij, I. 2015. Effectiveness of the IDEFICS intervention on objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time in European children. Obesity Reviews, Vol. 16, p. 57.

    Gubbels, Jessica S Van Kann, Dave HH de Vries, Nanne K Thijs, Carel and Kremers, Stef PJ 2014. The next step in health behavior research: the need for ecological moderation analyses - an application to diet and physical activity at childcare. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Vol. 11, Issue. 1, p. 52.

    Davison, Kirsten K. Mâsse, Louise C. Timperio, Anna Frenn, Marilyn D. Saunders, Julie Mendoza, Jason A. Gobbi, Erica Hanson, Phillip and Trost, Stewart G. 2013. Physical Activity Parenting Measurement and Research: Challenges, Explanations, and Solutions. Childhood Obesity, Vol. 9, Issue. s1, p. S-103.

    Lampard, Amy M. Jurkowski, Janine M. Lawson, Hal A. and Davison, Kirsten K. 2013. Family Ecological Predictors of Physical Activity Parenting in Low-Income Families. Behavioral Medicine, Vol. 39, Issue. 4, p. 97.

    Lampard, Amy M. Jurkowski, Janine M. and Davison, Kirsten K. 2013. The Family Context of Low-Income Parents Who Restrict Child Screen Time. Childhood Obesity, Vol. 9, Issue. 5, p. 386.

    Malhotra, Khushi Herman, Allison N. Wright, Gretchen Bruton, Yasmeen Fisher, Jennifer O. and Whitaker, Robert C. 2013. Perceived Benefits and Challenges for Low-Income Mothers of Having Family Meals with Preschool-Aged Children: Childhood Memories Matter. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol. 113, Issue. 11, p. 1484.


Reframing family-centred obesity prevention using the Family Ecological Model

  • Kirsten K Davison (a1), Janine M Jurkowski (a2) and Hal A Lawson (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 22 October 2012

According to the Family Ecological Model (FEM), parenting behaviours are shaped by the contexts in which families are embedded. In the present study, we utilize the FEM to guide a mixed-methods community assessment and summarize the results. Additionally, we discuss the utility of the FEM and outline possible improvements.


Using a cross-sectional design, qualitative and quantitative methods were used to examine the ecologies of parents' cognitions and behaviours specific to children's diet, physical activity and screen-based behaviours. Results were mapped onto constructs outlined in the FEM.


The study took place in five Head Start centres in a small north-eastern city. The community assessment was part of a larger study to develop and evaluate a family-centred obesity prevention programme for low-income families.


Participants included eighty-nine low-income parents/caregivers of children enrolled in Head Start.


Parents reported a broad range of factors affecting their parenting cognitions and behaviours. Intrafamilial factors included educational and cultural backgrounds, family size and a lack of social support from partners. Organizational factors included staff stability at key organizations, a lack of service integration and differing school routines. Community factors included social connectedness to neighbours/friends, shared norms around parenting and the availability of safe public housing and play spaces. Policy- and media-related factors included requirements of public assistance programmes, back-to-work policies and children's exposure to food advertisements.


Based on these findings, the FEM was refined to create an evidence-based, temporally structured logic model to support and guide family-centred research in childhood obesity prevention.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Reframing family-centred obesity prevention using the Family Ecological Model
      Your Kindle email address
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Reframing family-centred obesity prevention using the Family Ecological Model
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Reframing family-centred obesity prevention using the Family Ecological Model
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1.Y Wang & T Lobstein (2006) Worldwide trends in childhood obesity. Int J Pediatr Obes 1, 1125.

3.S Daniels (2006) The consequences of childhood overweight and obesity. Future Child 16, 4767.

4.K Davison & L Birch (2001) Childhood overweight: a contextual model and recommendations for future research. Obes Rev 2, 159171.

5.K Campbell & K Hesketh (2007) Strategies which aim to positively impact on weight, physical activity, diet and sedentary behaviours in children from zero to five years. A systematic review of the literature. Obes Rev 8, 327338.

6.LL Birch & KK Davison (2001) Family environmental factors influencing the developing behavioral controls of food intake and childhood overweight. Pediatr Clin North Am 48, 893908.

7.S Gustafson & R Rhodes (2006) Parental correlates of physical activity in children and early adolescents. Sports Med 36, 7997.

9.W Dietz & S Gortmaker (2001) Preventing obesity and children and adolescents. Annu Rev Public Health 22, 337353.

12.MD Hingle , TM O'Connor , JM Dave et al. (2010) Parental involvement in interventions to improve child dietary intake: a systematic review. Prev Med 51, 103111.

13.TM O'Connor , K Watson , S Hughes et al. (2010) Health professionals’ and dietetics practitioners’ perceived effectiveness of fruit and vegetable parenting practices across six countries. J Am Diet Assoc 110, 10651071.

14.E Stice , H Shaw & C Marti (2006) A meta-analytic review of obesity prevention programs for children and adolescents: the skinny on interventions that work. Psychol Bull 132, 667691.

15.D Stokols , J Allen & RL Bellingham (1996) The social ecology of health promotion: implications for research and practice. Am J Health Promot 10, 247251.

20.C Wang & M Burris (1997) Photovoice: concept, methodology, and use for participatory needs assessment. Health Educ Behav 24, 369387.

23.R Jago , K Fox , A Page et al. (2010) Parent and child physical activity and sedentary time: do active parents foster active children? BMC Public Health 10, 194.

24.A Ventura & L Birch (2008) Does parenting affect children's eating and weight status? Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 5, 15.

25.M He , L Piche , C Beynon et al. (2010) Screen-related sedentary behaviors: children's and parents’ attitudes, motivations and practices. J Nutr Educ Behav 42, 1725.

26.T Hinkley , D Crawford , J Salmon et al. (2008) Preschool children and physical activity: a review of correlates. Am J Prev Med 34, 435441.

27.I Janssen & A LeBlanc (2011) Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 7, 40.

28.M van Duyn & E Pivonka (2000) Overview of the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption for the dietetics professional: selected literature. J Am Diet Assoc 100, 15111521.

29.J Anderson , P Baird , R Davis et al. (2009) Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutr Rev 67, 188205.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *