Anti-fat attitudes and dietary restraint within mother-daughter dyads: an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) analysis

Abstract

Purpose

This study examined the association between anti-fat attitudes (fear of fat, dislike of fat, willpower) and dietary restraint within the mother–daughter relationship.

Methods

Mother–adolescent daughter dyads (Npairs = 100) were recruited from a Midwestern community to participate in a study together. They completed self-report measures of anti-fat attitudes and eating behavior. Data were analyzed with an Actor–Partner Interdependence Model (APIM).

Results

Significant actor effects for mothers include fear of fat (b = 0.270, B = 0.319, p < 0.05) and willpower (b = 0.228, B = 0.280, p < 0.05) predicting her own dietary restraint. For daughters, fear of fat (b = 0.554, B = 0.612, p < 0.05) and dislike (b = 0.202, B = 0.214, p < 0.05) predict her own dietary restraint. Regarding partner effects, mothers’ fear of fat was related to daughters’ dietary restraint (b = 0.126, B = 0.138, p < 0.05), and daughters’ dislike was related to mothers’ restraint (b = 0.257, B = 0.294, p < 0.05). Regarding dyad-level interaction effects, mother and daughter fear of fat interacted to predict daughter dietary restraint (b = 0.184, B = 0.201, p < 0.05), such that when both mother and daughter fear of fat is high, daughters appear to engage in more dietary restraint.

Conclusions

Given the role of mothers’ fear of fat in daughter eating behavior, parent-focused or parent-involved interventions may improve family culture around weight and eating, contributing to better adolescent outcomes.

Level of evidence

V, cross-sectional descriptive study.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. 1.

    Neumark-Sztainer D, Wall M, Story M, Standish AR (2012) Dieting and unhealthy weight control behaviors during adolescence: associations with 10-year changes in body mass index. J Adolesc Health 50:80–86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.05.010

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Stice E, Shaw HE (2002) Role of body dissatisfaction in the onset and maintenance of eating pathology: a synthesis of research findings. J Psychosom Res 53:985–993. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0022-3999(02)00488-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Dalley SE, Buunk AP (2009) “Thinspiration” vs. “Fear of fat”. Using prototypes to predict frequent weight-loss dieting in females. Appetite 52:217–221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2008.09.019

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Dalley SE, Toffanin P, Pollet TV (2012) Dietary restraint in college women: fear of an imperfect fat self is stronger than hope of a perfect thin self. Body Image 9:441–447. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2012.06.005

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Robinson BE, Bacon JG, O’Reilly J (1993) Fat phobia: measuring, understanding, and changing anti-fat attitudes. Int J Eat Disord 14:467–480. https://doi.org/10.1002/1098-108x(199312)14:4%3c467:aid-eat2260140410%3e3.0.co;2-j

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Crandall C, Biernat M (1990) The ideology of anti-fat attitudes. J Appl Soc Psychol 20:227–243. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1990.tb00408.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Chow CM, Ruhl H, Tan CC, Ellis L (2019) Fear of fat and restrained eating: negative body talk between female friends as a moderator. Eat Weight Disord 24:1181–1188. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-017-0459-9

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Shapiro S, Newcomb M, Burns Loeb T (1997) Fear of fat, disregulated-restrained eating, and body-esteem: prevalence and gender differences among eight- to ten-year-old children. J Clin Child Psychol 26:358–365. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15374424jccp2604_4

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Claydon EA, Zullig KJ, Lilly CL, Zerwas SC, Davidov DM, Cottrell L, White MA (2019) An exploratory study on the intergenerational transmission of obesity and dieting proneness. Eat Weight Disord 24:97–105. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-018-0478-1

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Abraczinskas M, Fisak B, Barnes RD (2012) The relation between parental influence, body image, and eating behaviors in a nonclinical female sample. Body Image 9:93–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2011.10.005

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Carper JL, Orlet Fisher J, Birch LL (2000) Young girls’ emerging dietary restraint and disinhibition are related to parental control in child feeding. Appetite 35:121–129. https://doi.org/10.1006/appe.2000.0343

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    McCabe MP, Ricciardelli LA, Banfield S (2001) Body image, strategies to change muscles and weight, and puberty: do they impact on positive and negative affect among adolescent boys and girls? Eat Behav 2:129–149. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1471-0153(01)00025-3

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Cooley E, Toray T, Wang MC, Valdez NN (2008) Maternal effects on daughters’ eating pathology and body image. Eat Behav 9:52–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2007.03.001

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Kelley HH, Thibaut JW (1978) Interpersonal relations: a theory of interdependence. Wiley, New York

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Puhl RM, Himmelstein MS, Pearl RL (2020) Weight stigma as a psychosocial contributor to obesity. Am Psychol 75:274–289. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000538

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Puhl RM, Latner JD, O’Brien K, Luedicke J, Danielsdottir S, Forhan M (2015) A multinational examination of weight bias: predictors of anti-fat attitudes across four countries. Int J Obes 39:1166–1173. https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2015.32

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Crandall CS (1994) Prejudice against fat people: ideology and self-interest. J Pers Soc Psychol 66:882–894. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-3514.66.5.882

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Puhl RM, Heuer CA (2010) Obesity stigma: important considerations for public health. Am J Public Health 100:1019–1028. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2009.159491

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Vartanian LR, Herman CP, Polivy J (2005) Implicit and explicit attitudes toward fatness and thinness: the role of the internalization of societal standards. Body Image 2:373–381. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2005.08.002

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Burmeister JM, Carels RA (2014) Weight-related humor in the media: appreciation, distaste, and anti-fat attitudes. Psychol Pop Media Cult 3:223–238. https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000029

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Musher-Eizenman DR, Holub SC, Edwards-Leeper L, Persson AV, Goldstein SE (2003) The narrow range of acceptable body types of preschoolers and their mothers. J Appl Dev Psychol 24:259–272. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0193-3973(03)00047-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Solbes I, Enesco I (2010) Explicit and implicit anti-fat attitudes in children and their relationships with their body images. Obes Facts 3:23–32. https://doi.org/10.1159/000280417

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Durso LE, Latner JD (2008) Understanding self-directed stigma: development of the Weight Bias Internalization Scale. Obesity 16:S80–S86. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2008.448

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Field AE, Inge TH, Belle SH, Johnson GS, Wahed AS, Pories WJ, Spaniolas K, Mitchell JE, Pomp A, Dakin GF, Wolfe B, Courcoulas AP (2018) Association of obesity subtypes in the longitudinal assessment of bariatric surgery study and 3-year postoperative weight change: obesity subtypes and postoperative weight change. Obesity 26:1931–1937. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.22287

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Heymsfield SB, Wadden TA (2017) Mechanisms, pathophysiology, and management of obesity. N Engl J Med 376:254–266. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMra1514009

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Hilbert A, Rief W, Braehler E (2008) Stigmatizing attitudes toward obesity in a representative population-based sample. Obesity 16:1529–1534. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2008.263

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Anschutz DJ, Kanters LJA, van Strien T, Vermulst AA, Engels RCME (2009) Maternal behaviors and restrained eating and body dissatisfaction in young children. Int J Eat Disord 42:54–61. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.20569

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Claydon EA, Zullig KJ, Lilly CL, Cottrell L, Davidov DM, Zerwas SC (2019) An exploratory study of a questionnaire on the intergenerational transmission of dieting behavior within an eating disorder population. Eat Weight Disord. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-019-00745-1

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Musher-Eizenman DR, Holub SC, Hauser JC, Young KM (2007) The relationship between parents’ anti-fat attitudes and restrictive feeding. Obesity 15:2095–2102. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2007.249

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Jaffe K, Worobey J (2006) Mothers’ attitudes toward fat, weight, and dieting in themselves and their children. Body Image 3:113–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2006.03.003

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Lydecker JA, O’Brien E, Grilo CM (2018) Parents have both implicit and explicit biases against children with obesity. J Behav Med 41:784–791. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-018-9929-4

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Hadiwijaya H, Klimstra TA, Vermunt JK, Branje SJT, Meeus WHJ (2017) On the development of harmony, turbulence, and independence in parent–adolescent relationships: a five-wave longitudinal study. J Youth Adolesc 46:1772–1788. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0627-7

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Laursen B, Collins WA (2009) Parent–child relationships during adolescence. In: Lerner RM, Steinberg L (eds) Handbook of adolescent psychology. Wiley, New York, pp 3–42

    Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    De Mol J, Buysse A (2008) The phenomenology of children’s influence on parents. J Fam Ther 30:163–193. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6427.2008.00424.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Butler EA, Randall AK (2013) Emotional coregulation in close relationships. Emot Rev 5:202–210. https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073912451630

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Kenny DA, Kashy DA, Cook WL (2006) Dyadic data analysis. Guilford Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Hart E, Chow CM (2019) “I just don’t want to be fat!”: body talk, body dissatisfaction, and eating disorder symptoms in mother-daughter adolescent girl dyads. Eat Weight Disord. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-019-00756-y

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    van Strien T, Frijters JE, Bergers GP, Defares PB (1986) The Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) for assessment of restrained, emotional, and external eating behavior. Int J Eat Disord 5:295–315. https://doi.org/10.1002/1098-108X(198602)5:2%3c295:AID-EAT2260050209%3e3.0.CO;2-T

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Chow CM, Claxton SE, van Dulmen MH (2015) Testing dyadic mechanisms the right way: a primer into moderated actor–partner interdependence model with latent variable interactions. Emerg Adulthood 3:421–433. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167696815605728

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    Aiken LS, West SG (1991) Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Sage

  41. 41.

    R Core Team (2018) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Retrieved from https://www.R-project.org/

  42. 42.

    Rosseel Y (2012) lavaan: an R package for structural equation modeling. J Stat Softw 48:1–36. Retrieved from http://www.jstatsoft.org/v48/i02/

  43. 43.

    Jamshidian M, Jalal SJ, Jansen C (2014) MissMech: an R package for testing homoscedasticity, multivariate normality, and missing completely at random (MCAR). J Stat Softw 56:1–31. https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v056.i06

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Allison PD (2002) Missing data. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA

    Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    Linville D, Stice E, Gau J, O’Neil M (2011) Predictive effects of mother and peer influences on increases in adolescent eating disorder risk factors and symptoms: a 3-year longitudinal study. Int J Eat Disord 44:745–751. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.20907

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  46. 46.

    Ricciardelli LA, McCabe MP (2001) Children’s body image concerns and eating disturbance: a review of the literature. Clin Psychol Rev 21:325–344. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0272-7358(99)00051-3

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  47. 47.

    Usmiani S, Daniluk J (1997) Mothers and their adolescent daughters: relationship between self-esteem, gender role identity, body image. J Youth Adolesc 26:45–62. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024588112108

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. 48.

    Le Grange D, Hughes EK, Court A, Yeo M, Crosby RD, Sawyer SM (2016) Randomized clinical trial of parent-focused treatment and family-based treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa. J Am Acad Child Psychiatry 55:683–692. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2016.05.007

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. 49.

    Crandall CS, D’Anello S, Sakalli N, Lazarus E, Nejtardt GW, Feather NT (2001) An attribution-value model of prejudice: anti-fat attitudes in six nations. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 27:30–37. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167201271003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    Meule A (2019) Cross-cultural testing of dietary restraint. In: Meiselman HL (ed) Handbook of eating and drinking. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 1367–1380. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75388-1_134-1

  51. 51.

    Krumpal I (2013) Determinants of social desirability bias in sensitive surveys: a literature review. Qual Quant 47:2025–2047. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-011-9640-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Funding

This study was funded by the Faculty Research Fellowship grant supported by Eastern Michigan University.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ellen Hart.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of Eastern Michigan University Human Subjects Review Committee.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from mothers for themselves and their adolescent daughters; daughters under 18 provided assent to participate.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hart, E., Tan, C.C. & Chow, C.M. Anti-fat attitudes and dietary restraint within mother-daughter dyads: an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) analysis. Eat Weight Disord (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-020-00949-w

Download citation

Keywords

  • Anti-fat attitudes
  • Dislike
  • Fear of fat
  • Willpower
  • Dietary restraint
  • Parent–child
  • Adolescence