Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Adolescence is a developmental time period associated with increased autonomy from parents and more independent decision-making. Adolescents strive to control areas of their life once solely controlled by parents, and food and eating decisions are two areas over which adolescents may want to have sole control. In addition, there may be heterogeneity in adolescents' beliefs about food-related behavior as well as adolescents' actual eating patterns. The current study examined parents' and adolescents' domain beliefs about food and whether adolescents' domain beliefs about such behaviors were associated with problematic eating patterns. Participants included 102 female caregiver-adolescent dyads with children between the ages of 12-17 years (M = 14.65) and female caregivers between the ages of 29 to 65 years (M = 43.79). Female caregivers and adolescents completed self-report measures which assessed decision-making about various food-related behaviors, the harmfulness of different eating behaviors, and adolescents' engagement in problematic (under-/over-eating) eating patterns. Female caregivers viewed decisions about food-related issues as requiring more parental input than adolescents, while older teens viewed food-related issues as up to them to decide compared to younger teens. Female caregivers and adolescents, regardless of age, did not differ in their harmfulness judgments about food and eating behavior. Additionally, increased adolescent decision-making about food-related behavior was associated with increased over-eating behavior, while increased adolescent harmfulness ratings of food were associated with increased restrictive eating.
Ferris, Kaitlyn A., "Adolescent Autonomy Development and Problematic Eating Patterns" (2012). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4852.