Date of Graduation

12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Nursing

Advisor

Dr. Marilou Shreve

Reader

Dr. Nan Smith-Blair

Second Reader

Dr. Allison Scott

Abstract

Background: Childhood obesity is on the rise in the United States especially among minority families. This study investigates how Hispanic parents perceive their child's weight based on years of acculturation, education level, age, child’s gender and 1st or 2nd generation status.

Objective: To assess if there are differences in perception between more acculturated Hispanic immigrants and their less acculturated counterparts.

Methods: Data were collected using the Child's Body Image Scale. Participants were asked to arrange the images based on a series of questions inquiring about their perception of their child and health in general. BMI's were then calculated for their children and compared to the image that the participant had selected to discover if parent's views match their child's figure.

Results: Twenty-nine children and 18 mothers were included in the study. Overall only 13.7% of mothers were able to correctly perceive their child’s weight (n=4). Of the inaccurately perceived children all were perceived as smaller than their actual BMI. 48.2% of children in the study were classified as overweight or obese according to the CDC (n=14).

Discussion: No significant relationship was shown between whether a mother could accurately pick the correct image that represented her child’s weight based on age, education level, years of acculturation, or 1st or 2nd generation status. However, there was a significant difference between level of accuracy based on whether or not the child was male or female. Mothers were twice as likely to correctly identify their daughter’s weight accurately compared to their son’s weight.

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