Cumulative Risk Exposure and Waist Circumference in Preschool-Aged Children: the Mediating Role of Television and Moderating Role of Sex

Anna H. Grummon, Amber Vaughn, Deborah J. Jones, Dianne S. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Children exposed to multiple stressors are more likely to be overweight, but little is known about the mechanisms explaining this association. Purpose: This cross-sectional study examined whether children exposed to multiple stressors had higher waist circumference, and whether this association was mediated through children’s television time. Methods: Participants were 319 parent–child dyads. Children were 2–5 years old and had at least one overweight parent (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2). Data were collected at baseline of a larger childhood obesity prevention study and included information on psychosocial stressors (e.g., parenting stress), demographic stressors (e.g., low income), children’s television time, and children’s waist circumference. Two cumulative risk scores were created by summing stressors in each domain (demographic and psychosocial). Mediation and moderated mediation analyses were conducted. Results: Indirect effects of both cumulative risk scores on waist circumference through television time were not significant; however, moderated mediation analyses found significant moderation by gender. The indirect effects of both risk scores on waist circumference through television time were significant and positive for girls, but near-zero for boys. Conclusions: Reducing television time should be explored as a strategy for buffering against the negative health effects of exposure to multiple stressors among girls. Longitudinal and intervention research is needed to confirm these results and to identify mediating factors between cumulative risk and body weight among boys.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages489-499
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

Fingerprint

Television
Waist Circumference
Preschool Children
Demography
Pediatric Obesity
Parenting
Cross-Sectional Studies
Body Weight
Health
Research

Keywords

  • Body weight
  • Childhood obesity
  • Childhood overweight
  • Cumulative risk
  • Environmental factors
  • Family stress
  • Mediation
  • Moderation
  • Sex differences
  • Stressors
  • Television viewing
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

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title = "Cumulative Risk Exposure and Waist Circumference in Preschool-Aged Children: the Mediating Role of Television and Moderating Role of Sex",
abstract = "Background: Children exposed to multiple stressors are more likely to be overweight, but little is known about the mechanisms explaining this association. Purpose: This cross-sectional study examined whether children exposed to multiple stressors had higher waist circumference, and whether this association was mediated through children’s television time. Methods: Participants were 319 parent–child dyads. Children were 2–5 years old and had at least one overweight parent (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2). Data were collected at baseline of a larger childhood obesity prevention study and included information on psychosocial stressors (e.g., parenting stress), demographic stressors (e.g., low income), children’s television time, and children’s waist circumference. Two cumulative risk scores were created by summing stressors in each domain (demographic and psychosocial). Mediation and moderated mediation analyses were conducted. Results: Indirect effects of both cumulative risk scores on waist circumference through television time were not significant; however, moderated mediation analyses found significant moderation by gender. The indirect effects of both risk scores on waist circumference through television time were significant and positive for girls, but near-zero for boys. Conclusions: Reducing television time should be explored as a strategy for buffering against the negative health effects of exposure to multiple stressors among girls. Longitudinal and intervention research is needed to confirm these results and to identify mediating factors between cumulative risk and body weight among boys.",
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