Acculturation, food-related and general parenting, and body weight in Chinese-American children

Cihang Gu, Sarah Warkentin, Elena Jansen, Susan Carnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parents' food-related and general parenting behaviors may vary according to cultural background, with consequences for child eating behavior and weight. A better understanding of food-related and general parenting behaviors adopted by Chinese-American parents, and the relationships of all of these behaviors with child weight, is essential to aid the development of culturally appropriate interventions to prevent obesity in Chinese-American children. We investigated cross-sectional relationships of acculturation with parental feeding behaviors assessed with the Child Feeding Questionnaire, Parent Feeding Styles Questionnaire and Caregiver's Feeding Styles Questionnaire, and general parenting behaviors assessed with the Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire, in a sample of Chinese-American parents of 5–12 year-old children (n = 233). Parental level of acculturation was assessed using the Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation scale. We performed generalized linear regressions to explore associations of acculturation levels with parental feeding and general parenting subscales and also associations of these factors with child body mass index (BMI) z-score. Acculturation was associated with higher scores on Responsiveness in feeding, lower scores on subscales assessing controlling feeding behaviors (Restriction, Pressure to eat, Demandingness in feeding), lower scores on non-nutritive feeding behaviors (Emotional feeding, Instrumental feeding), and greater likelihood of an indulgent feeding style. With regard to general parenting, acculturation was associated with lower scores on subscales assessing authoritarian parenting. Parental Prompting/Encouragement to eat was associated with lower child BMI z-score, while authoritarian parenting subscales were associated with higher BMI z-score. An appreciation of the impact of cultural variation on food-related and general parenting may help to inform the development of culturally-sensitive obesity prevention interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105753
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Culture
  • Feeding practices
  • Food parenting
  • Parent-child relations
  • Pediatric obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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