The Role of Social Support vs. Modeling on Adolescents' Diet and Physical Activity: Findings from a School-based Weight Management Trial | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2375-4494

Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior
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Research Article

The Role of Social Support vs. Modeling on Adolescents' Diet and Physical Activity: Findings from a School-based Weight Management Trial

Monica Wang1,2*, Susan Druker1, Mary Ann Gapinski3, Lauren Gellar4, Kristin Schneider5, Stavroula Osganian6, Barbara Olendzki1 and Lori Pbert1

1Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Ave North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA

2Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA

3Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 250 Washington St., Boston, MA 02108, USA

4Nutrition Department, University of Tennessee, 1215 W. Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37996, USA

5Department of Psychology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Rd., North Chicago, IL 60064, USA

6Department of Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston, 333 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Monica Wang
Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Lake Avenue North, Worcester, USA
Tel: 508-856-6542
Fax: 08-856-3840
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: April 10, 2014; Accepted Date: April 24, 2014; Published Date: April 30, 2014

Citation: Wang M, Druker S, Gapinski MA, Gellar L, Schneider K, et al. (2014) The Role of Social Support vs. Modeling on Adolescents' Diet and Physical Activity: Findings from a School-based Weight Management Trial. J Child Adolesc Behav 2:132. doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000132

Copyright: © 2014 Wang M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: Social influences play an important role in shaping adolescents’ dietary and physical activity behaviors. We examined the role of perceived modeling and perceived social support from family and friends on diet and physical activity behaviors among overweight and obese adolescents participating in a weight management trial. Methods: Six high schools were randomized to a school-nurse delivered behavioral weight management intervention or an information attention-control. Data on perceived support and modeling of healthy eating and physical activity from family and friends and dietary and physical activity behaviors were obtained from participants (N=82) at baseline and 2- and 6-months follow-up. Results: Linear mixed models were used to examine associations between social factors at baseline and diet and physical behaviors at 6 months. Friend support was correlated with increased fruit and vegetable consumption (0.4 servings/day) and decreased added sugar intake (-14.2 grams/day) (p’s<0.05). Family support for physical activity, friend support for physical activity, and family modeling of physical activity were associated with increased number of days/week active for ≥ 60 minutes/day (0.7 days/week; 0.6 days/week; and 0.4 days/week, respectively, p’s<0.05). Conclusions: Among overweight and obese high school adolescents, support from family and friends was associated with a greater number of improvements in diet and physical activity at follow-up than modeling. Strategies to solicit support may maximize efficacy of adolescent obesity intervention efforts.


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