Event Title

Individual and Family Factors Related to the Weight Status of a Child with Special Needs

Mentor 1

Dr. Michele Polfuss

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

24-4-2015 11:45 AM

Description

Background and Significance: The prevalence of obesity in children with Autism (30-42%) and Spina Bifida (SB) (up to 64%) is higher than their typically developing peers (31.7%). When acknowledging the higher medical priorities related to these diagnoses, weight control is often not a focus. This is reflected in the literature where there is a gap of research that focuses on the individual and family's role in understanding the risk of obesity and subsequently the family environment that promotes or negates a healthy weight status in the special needs population. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between the child's gender, mobility status, grade, parent's weight status (PWS) and parent's concern regarding the child's weight (PCCW) to the child's weight status (CWS). / / Methods: This cross sectional correlational study examined responses to an anonymous online survey from 382 parents of children with Autism (191) and children with SB (191). The online survey included demographic and background questions as well as validated questionnaires including the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ). The CFQ included 7 sub scales with one being Concerns about Child Overweight that had acceptable reliability (α =.877). Parent and child height and weight were converted to a BMI and BMI%, respectively, and subsequently weight status based on CDC tables. Data analysis included frequencies, reliabilities, correlations and hierarchical multiple regression analyses. / / Results: The results indicated that the PWS and PCCW were the only significant variables predicting CWS. When controlling for child's gender, mobility, grade and PWS, PWS was significant explaining 16.3% of the variance in Autism [F (5, 179) = 16.35] and 9.2% in SB [F (5,180) = 4.88]. When adding PCCW, PWS remained significant with PCCW adding an additional 15.1% variance for Autism and 2.7% for SB. / / Conclusions: Both PWS and PCCW are significant predictors of CWS for both populations, but PWS was a more significant predictor of CWS than PCCW. Differences noted within the diagnoses, included the parent's of children with Autism having a higher frequency for concern of the child's weight than the parents of children with SB. Health care providers need to recognize the complexity of weight management in the special needs population. It would be beneficial for providers to include education and resources that promote healthy weight of both the child and family members, while highlighting the integral role of the family's influence on the child.

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Apr 24th, 10:30 AM Apr 24th, 11:45 AM

Individual and Family Factors Related to the Weight Status of a Child with Special Needs

Union Wisconsin Room

Background and Significance: The prevalence of obesity in children with Autism (30-42%) and Spina Bifida (SB) (up to 64%) is higher than their typically developing peers (31.7%). When acknowledging the higher medical priorities related to these diagnoses, weight control is often not a focus. This is reflected in the literature where there is a gap of research that focuses on the individual and family's role in understanding the risk of obesity and subsequently the family environment that promotes or negates a healthy weight status in the special needs population. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between the child's gender, mobility status, grade, parent's weight status (PWS) and parent's concern regarding the child's weight (PCCW) to the child's weight status (CWS). / / Methods: This cross sectional correlational study examined responses to an anonymous online survey from 382 parents of children with Autism (191) and children with SB (191). The online survey included demographic and background questions as well as validated questionnaires including the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ). The CFQ included 7 sub scales with one being Concerns about Child Overweight that had acceptable reliability (α =.877). Parent and child height and weight were converted to a BMI and BMI%, respectively, and subsequently weight status based on CDC tables. Data analysis included frequencies, reliabilities, correlations and hierarchical multiple regression analyses. / / Results: The results indicated that the PWS and PCCW were the only significant variables predicting CWS. When controlling for child's gender, mobility, grade and PWS, PWS was significant explaining 16.3% of the variance in Autism [F (5, 179) = 16.35] and 9.2% in SB [F (5,180) = 4.88]. When adding PCCW, PWS remained significant with PCCW adding an additional 15.1% variance for Autism and 2.7% for SB. / / Conclusions: Both PWS and PCCW are significant predictors of CWS for both populations, but PWS was a more significant predictor of CWS than PCCW. Differences noted within the diagnoses, included the parent's of children with Autism having a higher frequency for concern of the child's weight than the parents of children with SB. Health care providers need to recognize the complexity of weight management in the special needs population. It would be beneficial for providers to include education and resources that promote healthy weight of both the child and family members, while highlighting the integral role of the family's influence on the child.