The relationship between mothers' lifestyles and the lifestyles and gender-hypertension risk categories of their African American young adult children

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tiffany Brooke Morton (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Margaret Savoca

Abstract: Rates of hypertension in the United States have been rising over the past twenty years. Unfortunately, African Americans are at higher risk for early-onset hypertension, placing African American young adults at increased health risk. Healthy eating and physical activity behaviors have been associated with increased blood pressure control and could serve as areas for intervention for the prevention of early-onset hypertension in young adults. Parents have been shown to influence the development of their children's health risk behaviors, thus providing a possible point of entry for these interventions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the eating and exercise behaviors of mothers in relation to the eating and exercise behaviors, gender, and hypertension risk category of their African American young adult children (n=56 dyads, youth ages17-20y). Mother and child took part separately in in-depth semi-structured interviews designed to elicit information about eating and physical activity behaviors. In addition, data was collected through descriptive questionnaire, diet history questionnaire (DHQ), and measures of height, weight, and blood pressure. Maternal eating behaviors were categorized into themes, and mothers were coded for each theme (1: reported behavior, 0: did not report behavior). Maternal and child DHQ output was assessed and scores were assigned to reflect adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. Reported physical activity behaviors of mothers and children were assessed and categorized into themes. Physical activity scores were assigned based on participation in purposeful exercise. Results showed that mothers of high-risk children were more likely to report consuming sweetened beverages (p=0.0030). Mothers of low-risk males were the least likely to report skipping meals, eating fast food, drinking sweetened beverages, and eating out more than once weekly (p=0.042, 0.013, 0.0021, 0.0017, and 0.056, respectively). Mothers of males were more likely to report walking for exercise (p=0.0204), while mothers of high-risk females were more likely to report being unable to exercise due to chronic medical conditions (p=0.015). Eight maternal eating behaviors were associated with DHQ output. Comparisons of mother and child behaviors showed strong inverse relationships between the number of reported eating behaviors of mothers and the intake of their high-risk or female children. In addition, active mothers of males were more likely to have active sons (p=0.033). These results suggest weak associations between maternal eating behaviors and child intake in this age group. Mothers of males, however, seem to have stronger influence over the physical activity levels of their male young adult children. Further research is necessary in order to better understand these relationships for the creation of effective interventions to prevent early-onset hypertension in African American young adults.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
African American, Health disparities, Hypertension, Nutrition
African Americans $x Health and Hygiene.
Young adults $x Health and Hygiene.
Hypertension $x Risk factors.
Parental influences.
Hypertension $x Prevention.
Parent and child.
African Americans $x Nutrition.

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