What's Love Got to Do With it? Family Cohesion and Healthy Eating Behaviors in Adolescent Girls

About the Course:

To examine the association between family cohesion and behaviors linked to health or overweight in adolescents.
Cross-sectional analyses of family cohesion and eating behaviors of 2,379 girls (followed from ages 9-19) who participated in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study (NGHS). Height and weight measurements were obtained on an annual basis. Family cohesion was measured by the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES) III. Food diaries were used to assess frequency of breakfast consumption and intake of milk, soda, fruits, and vegetables.
Family cohesion was significantly associated with less soda intake and higher rates of breakfast consumption. Ingestion of milk, fruits, and vegetables was predicted by family cohesion at the trend level.
Understanding the role of familial factors in adolescent eating behaviors is an important research priority. Strengthening family cohesion may be a valuable goal toward promoting the health of adolescents, increasing breakfast eating and decreasing soda consumption.

Content for this course is based on an article from the International Journal of Eating Disorders, the official journal of the Association for Eating Disorders.


International Journal of Eating Disorders/Wiley Publishing

Publication Date:

May 2008, Volume 41 Issue 4


Debra L. Franko, PhD

Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts

Douglas Thompson, PhD

Maryland Medical Research Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

Robert Bauserman, PhD

Maryland Medical Research Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

Sandra G. Affenito, PhD

Department of Nutrition, St. Joseph College, West Hartford, Connecticut

Ruth H. Striegel-Moore, PhD

Department of Psychology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, addiction counselors, officers of the court, and nurses who seek knowledge about suicidal behavior in adolescents. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe the research literature explaining the familial influences in adolescent eating behaviors.

  2. Characterize the relationship between family cohesion and breakfast and soda consumption in adolescent girls.

  3. Indicate the potential explanations for the link between family cohesion and eating behaviors.

Article Link

Exam Questions

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Course Number: 101373
Credit Hours: 1cr
NBCC Credit Hours: 1cr
Exam Fee: $6.97
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Format: Online Article
4.2 out of 5
Popularity: 289 members have taken this course