Objective: This study sought to determine whether parenting style moderates the effects of delay of gratification on body mass index (BMI) trajectories from ages 4-15 years. Method: Longitudinal data were analyzed for 778 children drawn from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Parenting style (i.e., authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful) was created from measures of mothers' sensitivity and expectations for self-control when children were age 4 years. Self-regulation was also measured at 4 years using a well- known delay of gratification protocol. BMI was calculated from measured height and weight at each time point. Mixed modeling was used to test the interaction ofparenting styles and ability to delay gratification on BMI trajectories from 4-15 years. Results: There was a significant interaction effect of parenting and ability to delay on BMI growth from 4-15 years for boys. Boys who had authoritarian mothers and failed to delay gratification had a significantly steeper rate of growth in BMI from childhood through adolescence than children in any other parenting by delay group. Conclusion: Authoritative and permissive parenting styles were protective against more rapid BMI gains for boys who could not delay gratification. Ability to delay gratification was protective against BMI gains for boys who had parents with authoritarian or neglectful parenting styles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health