Preadolescents' and Parents' Dietary Coping Efficacy During Behavioral Family-Based Weight Control Treatment

Kelly R. Theim, Meghan M. Sinton, Richard I. Stein, Brian E. Saelens, Sucheta C. Thekkedam, Robinson R. Welch, Leonard H. Epstein, Denise E. Wilfley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Developmentally relevant high-risk dietary situations (e.g., parties where tempting foods are available) may influence overweight youth's weight control, as they increase risk for overeating. Better self-efficacy for coping with these situations-which preadolescents may learn from their parents-could foster successful weight control. Overweight preadolescents (N = 204) ages 7-12 years (67% female), each with one parent, separately completed the Hypothetical High-Risk Situation Inventory (HHRSI) pre- and post-weight loss treatment. The HHRSI assesses temptation to overeat and confidence in refraining from overeating in response to four high-risk dietary scenarios. Participants generated coping strategies for each scenario. Coping strategies and confidence increased and temptation decreased from pre- to post-weight loss treatment. Parents' increase in confidence from pre- to post-treatment was associated with preadolescents' and parents' weight loss. Tailoring treatments to enhance parents' coping skills (e.g., building strategies, targeting high temptation/low confidence scenarios) may maximize preadolescents' weight control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-97
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Coping
  • Family-based treatment
  • Parents
  • Self-efficacy
  • Weight loss treatment


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