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The effects of training parents in general child management skills on a behavioral weight loss program for children

Behavior Therapy
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0005-7894(85)80043-5


Overweight children, 8 to 12 years old, and their parents, were assigned to one of two treatment condictions or a waiting-list control. Families assigne to the Weight Reduction Only (WRO) condition received a multicomponent behavioral weight reduction program. Participants in the Parent Training (PT) condition received the same treatment preceded by a short course for the parents in general child management skills and emphasis on these skills during treatment. Children and parents in both conditions lost weight during the 8-week intensive portion of treatment, whereas control families gained weight. In addition, parental reports of improvements in children's eating habits occurred for treatment but not control children. Parents in the PT but not the WRO condition exhibited an increase in knowledge of child management skills. At 1-year follow-up, maintenance of improved weight status was superior for children in the PT condition and there was some indication of a relationship between child management knowledge and maintenance. A positive correlation was also obtained between changes in child and parent weight status during the follow-up period.

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