Material Hardship and Internal Locus of Control Over the Prevention of Child Obesity in Low-Income Hispanic Pregnant Women

Rachel S. Gross, Alan L. Mendelsohn, Michelle B. Gross, Roberta Scheinmann, Mary Jo Messito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To determine the relations between household material hardships and having a low internal locus of control over the prevention of child obesity in low-income Hispanic pregnant women. Methods We performed a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data collected during a third trimester prenatal visit from women participating in the Starting Early Study, a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a primary care-based family-centered early child obesity prevention intervention. Using multiple logistic regression analyses, we determined whether 4 domains of material hardship (food insecurity, difficulty paying bills, housing disrepair, neighborhood stress), considered individually and also cumulatively, were associated with having a low internal locus of control over the prevention of child obesity. Results The sample included 559 low-income Hispanic pregnant women, with 60% having experienced at least 1 hardship. Food insecurity was independently associated with a low internal locus of control over the prevention of child obesity (adjusted odds ratio, 2.38; 95% confidence interval, 1.50–3.77), controlling for other hardships and confounders. Experiencing a greater number of material hardships was associated in a dose-dependent relationship with an increased odds of having a low internal locus of control. Conclusions Prenatal material hardships, in particular food insecurity, were associated with having a lower prenatal internal locus of control over the prevention of child obesity. Longitudinal follow-up of this cohort is needed to determine how relations between material hardships and having a low internal locus of control will ultimately affect infant feeding practices and child weight trajectories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-474
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Keywords

  • infant
  • locus of control
  • obesity
  • poverty
  • pregnancy
  • weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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