Family Lifestyles Project

Principal Investigator: Julie Braungart-Rieker, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
Co-Princial Investigators: Elizabeth Moore, Ph.D., Department of Marketing; Jennifer Lefever, Ph.D., Department of Psychology

The overarching goal of the Family Lifestyles Projects is to examine the extent to which early appearing factors in children’s environments—both health-related and psychosocial—are related to childhood overweight and obesity. More specifically, we aim to look at parent factors such as food-related marketing exposure; physical activity; feeding practices; socio-emotional functioning; and parenting style; as well as child factors such as gender and temperament; food consumption and physical activity; and socio-emotional functioning such as attachment security, internalizing and externalizing problems, and social competence. In addition, we propose that children’s self-regulatory abilities will serve as a key mediating factor that links parenting factors, children’s exercise/eating habits, and children’s socio-emotional functioning with childhood overweight and obesity. It is at the family level at which prevention directed toward childhood obesity might be most effective (Golan & Weizman, 2001). However, we need to have a better understanding for the complex relationships between parenting, children’s behavior, and childhood obesity in order to develop more comprehensive and effective prevention and intervention programs.

At this stage, the project is a pilot study and was launched in May, 2010. It is funded by grants from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Office of Research, the Mendoza School of Business, and the Department of Marketing at the University of Notre Dame.

The Family Lifestyles Project is no longer recruiting participants.