A qualitative exploration of parent perceptions and experiences of food provision to their children in the current food environment: A behavioural perspective

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Title: A qualitative exploration of parent perceptions and experiences of food provision to their children in the current food environment: A behavioural perspective
Authors: McCafferty, Claire
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12840
Date: 2020
Online since: 2022-05-05T15:14:27Z
Abstract: Childhood obesity is a serious public health challenge facing our population. In Ireland, currently 1 in 4 children are obese. Behaviour change is key to improving health outcomes such as engaging in healthy eating habits. Understanding the behavioural determinants of how parents and caregivers respond to the food environment is an essential step to inform future evidence-based interventions aimed to support healthy child feeding behaviours. The aim of this PhD thesis was to further an understanding into parental/ caregiver capacity and resources when making food decisions for their children in the current food environment. This body of work benefits from the application of behavioural theory, namely the Theoretical Domains Framework, informed by a socio-ecological model lens. This thesis consists of four key research areas; 1) caregiver treat food provision to children; 2) the suitability of nutrition literacy as a resource; 3) mothers’ healthy child feeding behaviours; 4) food purchasing behaviours in mothers with low socio-economic status. A constructivist approach was taken through qualitative research methodologies including focus groups and interviews. This work addressed the need for an in-depth understanding of the factors which inform the way parents and caregivers behave in today’s changed food environment. Perspectives were drawn from experiences of how parents and caregivers navigate the food environment across separate studies. Such experiences reveal the importance of individual motivation such as self-efficacy, attitudes, childhood experience and cognitive capacity to inform behaviour. The findings reveal important contextual differences in how both low and high SES individuals navigate family feeding processes and decisions within the backdrop of the distorted food environment. This research argues that a shift is needed to address the way research is conducted and how individual behaviour is considered, changing the dialogue from individual burden, towards how policy and interventions may best support parents to cope in today’s distorted, obesogenic environment. The resources parents have available may seek to mediate the influence of the distorted food environment. This research argues that a shift is needed to address the way research is conducted, and how individual behaviour is considered, changing the dialogue from individual burden, towards how policy and interventions may best support parents to cope in today’s distorted food environment.
Type of material: Doctoral Thesis
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science
Qualification Name: Ph.D.
Copyright (published version): 2020 the Author
Keywords: ParentingFoodBehaviourEnvironment
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science Theses

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