Perceived parenting style and self-efficacy for fruit and vegetable consumption among university students living on campus
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Research suggests that parenting style has long-term implications on the emotional and behavioral development of children. The current study investigated the influence of parenting style on dietary behaviors beyond adolescence by examining the relationships between perceived parenting style, self-efficacy for fruit and vegetable consumption, and weight status among 227 college students living in campus residences. Spearman's rank-order correlations, linear regression, and independent sample t-test statistical analyses were used to test the hypothesis. Results demonstrated that authoritative parenting was positively correlated with self-efficacy for fruit and vegetable consumption (p < .01) and authoritarian parenting was positively correlated with body mass index (p = .04). Post-hoc analysis also indicated that family meal frequency was positively associated with authoritative parenting (p <.01) and negatively associated with BMI (p <.01). These results suggest that parenting style continues to influence nutrition and weight status into adulthood, even when children are no longer living at home. Future studies should continue to explore how remembered parenting style influences nutrition in adulthood, with incorporation of a quantitative measure of dietary intake. Additionally, longitudinal research is needed to provide insight into the relationship between parenting style and weight status throughout the lifespan.