Parental Effects on Young Adult Women’s Health Behaviors

By Mikiyasu Hakoyama and Eileen MaloneBeach.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Weight gain has become a serious concern for many adults, especially for young women in affluent societies, as it affects their health and emotional well-being. Concerns about weight gain are likely to develop for adolescent girls. Young women who go on to college experience drastic lifestyle changes such as living in a dormitory and eating in all- you-can-eat cafeterias. The resulting weight gain is commonly known as “The Freshman 15.” The current study examined female undergraduate students’ (N = 1,406) health-related lifestyles. Structural equation modeling specifically examined parental influences on their daughters’ health-related behaviors, body mass index (BMI), and self-esteem. Both paternal and maternal tendencies to lead a healthy lifestyle had significant direct effects on college-aged daughters’ likelihood of leading a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle predicted BMI and self-esteem. Compared to paternal effects, maternal effects contributed more to their daughters’ health-related behaviors. Numerous ways of promoting healthy lifestyles such as feminist and self-monitoring approaches are discussed.

Keywords: BMI, Father, Mother, SEM, Exercise, Diet, College Students

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.83-101. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.483MB).

Dr. Mikiyasu Hakoyama

Associate Professor, Human Environmental and Family Studies, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, USA

Dr. Eileen MaloneBeach

Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, USA