Title page for ETD etd-07062009-174630

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Palcic, Jennette Lea
URN etd-07062009-174630
Title Development and Initial Validation of the Family Eating and Activity Questionnaire
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mary L Kelley Committee Chair
Amy Copeland Committee Member
Carole L. Jurkiewicz Committee Member
Frank M Gresham Committee Member
Georgiana Tuuri Dean's Representative
  • physical activity behaviors
  • Childhood obesity
  • parenting
  • measure development
  • eating behaviors
Date of Defense 2009-06-15
Availability unrestricted
Pediatric overweight is a growing public health concern in the United States. According to the CDC approximately 17% of children are currently obese (Body Mass Index (BMI) 95th percentile) and the percentage of obese children has tripled since the 1970s. Both eating and physical activity behaviors have been shown to be related to increased rates of obesity; however, there is a lack of assessment tools to measure these behaviors. The purpose of the current study was to develop a psychometrically sound, parent-report measure of family and child behaviors related to obesity in children between 5- and 12- years-old. Item generation, item selection, and initial exploratory factor analysis yielded a 45-item measure called the Family Eating and Activity Questionnaire (FEAQ). The FEAQ contains four subscales measuring health promoting family behaviors, obesogenic behaviors, mealtime routines, and family physical activity habits. Higher parent ratings on the FEAQ were shown to predict a decreased likelihood of their child being classified as overweight or obese. The FEAQ also demonstrated adequate internal consistency and temporal stability. Initial evidence of the convergent validity of the FEAQ with measures of family eating and physical activity habits, parenting behavior, childhood routines, and child conduct problems was demonstrated. The results of the study suggest that the FEAQ is a promising measure of family eating and physical activity habits related to obesity in children.

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