Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Paulo Graziano

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Katie Hart

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Catherine Coccia

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dana McMakin

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


pediatric obesity, parenting, intervention

Date of Defense



The current work examined healthy lifestyle interventions in different settings and their associated child and parent outcomes. Specifically, the first study examined, via a randomized trial, the efficacy of the Healthy Lifestyle Summer Camp and Parenting program (HLSC+HLPP) compared to the Health Lifestyle Summer Camp (HLSC) on improving child and parent health outcomes as well as mechanistic outcomes. Various anthropometric, fitness, nutrition, home environment, and parenting outcomes were collected for both children and their parent pre- and post-intervention. Results indicated that both HLSC+HLPP and HLSC were feasible and acceptable. There were no statistically significant differences between groups, however, both groups did demonstrate improvement. Specifically, there was a decrease in child Body Mass Index (BMI) z-score and increase in child fitness and parental monitoring after the intervention for both groups. Moreover, there were improvements in nutrition in HLSC+HLPP and improvements in physical activity and parenting stress in HLSC. These findings highlight the feasibility, acceptability, and improvement of child health outcomes after both the HLSC+HLPP and HLSC. Future research should examine group differences during a follow-up period. Utilizing an open trial, the second study examined the feasibility, acceptability, and initial promise of implementing the Healthy Lifestyle Parenting Program (HLPP) within a community setting. Measures were identical to that of Study One. Findings indicated that the HLPP was feasible and highly acceptable among participating families. Improvements were found in child nutrition knowledge and family frequency of sedentary activity. Additionally, 50% of children showed clinically significant changes in BMI z-score. These findings highlight that a parent-based obesity intervention implemented in a community setting may contribute to positive health changes in children. However, given recruitment and retention difficulties noted, finding convenient ways for families to participate is of utmost importance.



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