CitationStewart, Susan D. & Menning, Chadwick L. (2009). Family structure, nonresident father involvement, and adolescent eating patterns. Journal of Adolescent Health. vol. 45 (2) pp. 193-201
To examine the relationship between family structure, nonresident father involvement, and adolescent eating patterns.
Analyses were performed on data from Waves 1 and 2 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Wave 1, N = ∼15,550; Wave 2, N = ∼11,540), and a subsample of adolescents from each wave who had a nonresident father (Wave 1, N = ∼3,745; Wave 2, N = 2,358). Multivariate regression provides estimates of the independent effects of family structure and nonresident father involvement on adolescent eating patterns while controlling for potentially confounding sociodemographic characteristics.
Compared with children in traditional households (i.e., two biological or adoptive parents), adolescents in nontraditional family households (single parent, step-parent, no parent) were more likely to display unhealthy eating habits such as skipping breakfast and lunch, eating fewer vegetables, consuming more fast food, and had less parental monitoring of meals. Nonresident father involvement was associated with an increased frequency of eating breakfast and lunch and increased consumption of vegetables (Wave 1) but did not affect adolescents’ consumption of fast food. Child support was positively associated with the odds that adolescents would consume dinner.
Adolescents in living in nontraditional families were more likely than adolescents living with two biological/adoptive parents to display unhealthy eating habits. Nonresident father involvement was generally associated with healthier eating patterns. Health professionals should keep in mind that children's and adolescents’ living arrangements can be complex and have the potential to affect what and how they eat.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleJournal of Adolescent Health
Author(s)Stewart, Susan D.
Menning, Chadwick L.