Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


First Advisor

Megan Kelley

Date of this Version



Fletcher, M. (2018). CHAMPS (Child Health and Methods of Parenting Study). (Master's thesis). University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Nutrition & Health Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professor Megan Kelley. Lincoln, NE: April, 2018

Copyright (c) 2018 Megan Fletcher


The range of different contexts in which children learn and develop dietary and physical activity habits varies greatly, yet there is limited research on the role of the family structure and parenting style in the development of childhood obesity. CHAMPS (Child Health and Methods of Parenting Study), was designed to explore the relationships between parenting style, family structure, and child health status through a new lens and novel application of the Unified Theory of Behavior model. Surveys were administered to families at two partner locations to examine these relationships. 51 parents/legal guardians and 57 children completed the survey. Results were analyzed using Fisher’s test to evaluate the independence between the categorical variables. Analyses suggest significant findings in two of the four domains of the Unified Theory of Behavior model with the most significant association being between the perceived importance of parent/guardian’s own health and their reported parenting style. Results were presented to the partner organizations where each facility shared how they intend to apply the results. Though there was a small sample size for this project, findings support the importance of engagement and involvement in children’s dietary and physical activity behaviors as the family is an influential mechanism to influence behavior change and combat the increasing prevalence of obesity.

Advisor: Megan Kelley