Neighborhood, Family and Peer-Level Predictors of Obesity-Related Health Behaviors Among Young Adolescents
Salvy, S.-J.; Miles, J.N.V.; Shih, R.A.; Tucker, J.S.; D'Amico, E.J.
Journal of Pediatric Psychology 42(2): 153-161
ISSN/ISBN: 1465-735X PMID: 27246867 DOI: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsw035
This longitudinal study examines peer social functioning (PSF), familism, and neighborhood socioeconomic status (NSES) on adolescents' obesity risk. Participants ( N = 2,144) were originally sampled from 16 middle schools in Southern California (45% male; 45% Hispanic) as part of an alcohol and other drug use prevention program (CHOICE). Multilevel regression modeling tested main effects and interaction terms of PSF, familism, and NSES assessed at Wave 5 ( M age = 14.15) on body mass index and risk of obesity-related behaviors at Wave 6. Higher PSF predicted healthier eating habits, less screen time, and more physical activity. Higher familism also predicted more physical activity. The positive effect of PSF on healthy eating was stronger among youth who reported higher familism. PSF also moderated the associations of NSES with healthy eating and physical activity. Findings emphasize the importance of targeting both peer and family factors, which may be more amenable to change than NSES.