Family Lifestyles Project

The goal of the Family Lifestyles project was 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.  

Research Overview

The aim was 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, investigators proposed 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).  A better understanding is needed for the complex relationship between parenting, children's behavior, and childhood obesity in order to develop more comprehensive and effective prevention and intervention programs.

Funded By

Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Office of Research, Mendoza School of Business, Department of Marketing, at the University of Notre Dame

Age Group

  • Adults
  • Middle Childhood
  • Preschooler
  • Toddlers


  • Julie Braungart-Rieker, Ph.D. (PI)
  • Elizabeth Moore, Ph.D. (Co-I)
  • Jennifer Lefever, Ph.D. (Co-I)

Research Impact


  • Braungart-Rieker, J.M., Moore, E.S., Planalp, E.M., & Burke-Lefever, J. (2014). Psychosocial Pathways to Childhood Obesity: A Pilot Study Involving a High Risk Preschool Sample. Eating Behaviors, 528-531.



Research Themes