Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2019

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 09/04/2020

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Vander Weg, Mark

First Committee Member

Carr, Lucas

Second Committee Member

Neel, Rebecca

Third Committee Member

Plumert, Jodie

Fourth Committee Member

Windschitl, Paul


Reducing rates of overweight and obesity in children remains a prominent public health priority. Parents have been shown to be a major influence on their children’s weight-related behaviors and weight status, but limited research has been devoted to exploring the factors that lead parents to select certain weight-related parenting practices over another. Past research has demonstrated a link between weight stigma (i.e., prejudicial attitudes or discriminatory behavior targeted at individuals who carry excess weight) and an individual’s own weight-related behaviors and outcomes, but no study has examined how parental levels of weight stigma may affect weight-related parenting practices. The primary objective of this study was to examine the cross-sectional associations between parental levels of weight-based stigmatization with parental feeding practices and parental support for physical activity. Responses were collected on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website for n = 406 parents who 1) had at least one child aged 5-10 and 2) perceived themselves to be overweight or obese. After adjusting for relevant covariates, parental weight stigma was shown to be significantly associated with restrictive feeding practices, verbal modeling of eating behaviors, unintentional modeling of eating behaviors, child unhealthy snack consumption, and explicit modeling of physical activity (all ps < .05). A priori exploratory mediation analysis identified concern about child weight as a significant mediator between weight stigma and parental feeding practices. A discussion of the potential limitations of this study, future directions of research, and implications of these findings are included.


child obesity, feeding, parenting practices, physical activity support, weight stigma


ix, 160 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 135-160).


Copyright © 2019 Joshua M. Gold

Included in

Psychology Commons