Dr. Jody Nicholson, Dr. Dawn Witherspoon, Dea Zgjani
Dr. Jody Nicholson | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Psychology
Aims: The present study will examine parental Self-Efficacy as a mediator between shared family mealtimes and child outcomes as an aid to promote overall childhood and family wellbeing. There is a gap in literature in “coining” Self-Efficacy as a mediator between shared family mealtimes and child behavior outcomes and health. For my thesis I want to fill this gap by establishing parental Self-Efficacy as a mediator between shared family meals and children’s behaviors and health. Also, I want to further investigate the role that shared family mealtimes play in overall child behavioral and general health.
Background: Family meals can be described as a socializing process as well where parents can teach the children their family’s food culture, teach broad food tastes and to prepare the child to experiment with different food types (Anving & Sellerberg, 2015). Family meals are an example of a parent-child interaction, associated with positive health outcomes and a decreased risk in childhood obesity (Fiese, Hammons, & Grigsby-Touissaint, 2012). Shared family mealtimes do not only promote a change in the consumption of food and BMI, but a change in academic achievement, language development and overall improvement of the family climate (Fiese & Schwartz, 2008). Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory (1977) is a social cognitive construct that describes a person’s confidence to perform a certain behavior in a particular situation. Parenting self-efficacy refers to the caregiver’s beliefs in their ability to parent propitiously (Jones & Prinz, 2005).
Methods: I will be conducting a systematic review of literature on shared family mealtimes to catalog the predictors and outcomes related to implementing family mealtimes. A secondary investigation will be on how family mealtime is assessed.