Associations between general parenting, restrictive snacking rules, and adolescent's snack intake. The roles of fathers and mothers and interparental congruence

D.W.M. Gevers*, P. van Assema, E.F.C. Sleddens, N.K. de Vries, S.P.J. Kremers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Web of Science)


INTRODUCTION: Previous research has revealed that parents play a crucial role in their child's eating behavior through the use of general parenting and food parenting practices. Little research has been done on the role of fathers and on parenting congruence between mothers and fathers. This study aimed to clarify the roles of general parenting and restrictive snacking rules set by fathers and mothers, and to explore parenting congruence in explaining adolescents' snacking behavior. METHODS: Adolescents aged 11 to 15 were asked to complete a questionnaire assessing their perception of five general parenting constructs (i.e. nurturance, structure, behavioral control, coercive control, and overprotection) as well as restrictive snacking rules set by their fathers and mothers, and their own energy-dense snack intakes between meals. RESULTS: Scores for mothers were significantly higher on all constructs than for fathers, except for coercive control. Generally, higher scores on general parenting constructs for fathers and mothers were associated with higher scores on restrictive snacking rules (most of the associations being significant). A negative association between scores on structure for both fathers and mothers and the respondent's number of snacks consumed was found, while coercive control by mothers was significantly and positively related to the respondents' number of snacks consumed. The use of restrictive snacking rules by both fathers and mothers was significantly and negatively related to respondents' number of snacks consumed. Congruence among parents was relatively strong. Moderation analyses indicated that high levels of incongruence between parents attenuated the favorable impact of fathers' rules and nurturance on their children's snacking, but interactions with congruence were absent for three other paternal scales and all mother s parenting scales. DISCUSSION: Our findings indicate that both paternal and maternal general parenting and restrictive snacking rules play important roles in adolescents' snacking, and that high parental incongruence regarding restrictive snacking rules and nurturance could be undesirable. Program developers might consider utilizing these findings, although more research is necessary to replicate them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-191
Number of pages8
Early online date13 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • General parenting
  • Food parenting practices
  • Child's dietary behavior
  • Snacking

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