• Individual, Caregiver, and Family Characteristics Associated with Obesity in Preschool-age Children

      Rahmaty, Zahra; Johantgen, Mary E.; 0000-0001-6165-0881 (2021)
      Background and Objectives: Eating habits start from early childhood and may contribute to the development of obesity. Food neophobia (FN) occurs among 50% of preschoolers and has shown inconsistent associations with obesity. Caregiver feeding practices (FPs) influence eating habits but have limited evidence about how they employ together and how they associate with childhood obesity. The first paper examines the relationship between FN and preschooler's obesity/overweight. The second paper assesses patterns of FPs and their associated factors. The third paper examines how the patterns of FP relate to preschoolers' Body Mass Index (BMIz), an objective measure of obesity. Method: Data from the Creating Healthy Habits Among Maryland Preschoolers (CHAMP) study including preschoolers (N=500) and caregivers from 50 Maryland childcare centers were examined. Children's weight and height were measured, and BMI percentile and z-score were calculated. Caregivers reported demographics, weight and height, FN, FPs, child temperament via an online survey. Mixed models, factor analysis, latent profile analysis, and structural equation models were used. Results: A quarter of children were obese/overweight; caregiver-reported FN was not associated with preschoolers' obesity/overweight, although children were more likely to be obese/overweight if their caregiver was overweight (aOR=2.6) or obese (aOR=3.9). Three patterns of FP were found. Controlling class had high coercive control and low autonomy practices (69%), Regulating class had high coercive control, but moderate structural and autonomy practices (16%), and Balancing class were moderate in all practices (15%). Caregivers who desired their child to be heavier (aOR=0.40, 95%CI=0.22-0.72), had higher poverty levels (aOR=0.80, 95%CI=0.65-0.98), were single (aOR=0.38, 95% CI=0.18-0.80), and were less likely to be in the Balanced versus Controlling class. Children’s difficult temperament (b=0.09, p=0.008), caregiver’s BMI (b= 0.26, p<0.001), desire for the child to be thinner (b=0.23, p<0.001), desire for child to be heavier (b=-0.37, p<0.001), and Regulating versus Controlling FP (b=-0.09, p=0.03) were associated with child BMIz. Conclusion: Childhood obesity is a multifactorial phenomenon, with interactive effects among the child, family, and environment. FP are associated with preschooler’s weight and should be assessed comprehensively. Caregivers’ perceptions of child size and temperament may also provide insight into FP and obesity.
    • Patterns of Suicidal Risk and Its Relationship with Suicidal Ideation and Attempt: Practice and Policy Implications

      Nam, Boyoung; DeVylder, Jordan E.; Jacobson Frey, Jodi; 0000-0001-6799-5434 (2019)
      Despite efforts to prevent suicide, suicide mortality rate has been increasing since 2000. This dissertation examined distinct patterns of suicidal risk based on the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide (IPTS; Joiner, 2005), and the most critical patterns of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt were explored using latent class analysis. A nationally representative sample of White, Black, Latinx, and Asian adults from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (Alegria et al., 2016) was used. For White adults, five latent classes were identified, and respondents in the All Three with Alcohol/Drug Dependence, All Three without Alcohol/Drug Dependence, and Thwarted Belongingness + Perceived Burdensomeness classes were more likely to demonstrate suicidal ideation and suicide attempt than those in the Only Acquired Capability for Suicide class. For Black adults, six latent classes were identified, and respondents in the All Three with Alcohol/Drug Dependence and All Three without Alcohol/Drug Dependence classes were significantly more likely to attempt suicide than those in the Low Risk class. For Latinx respondents, four latent classes were identified, and respondents in the Thwarted Belongingness + Acquired Capability for Suicide class were significantly more likely to attempt suicide than respondents in the Low Risk class. For Asian respondents, three latent classes were identified, and respondents in Thwarted Belongingness + (Active) Acquired Capability for Suicide class had a significantly higher risk for suicidal ideation and suicide attempt than those in the Low Risk class. Findings of this dissertation supported the major tenets of the IPTS that individuals are at the greatest risk for suicide attempt when thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and acquired capability for suicide coexist. In addition, this dissertation found some variations across the four racial/ethnic groups. Findings suggested that clinicians working with people with higher risk for suicide should explore multiple dimensions of suicidal risk, especially clients’ capability for suicide (e.g., past exposure to trauma and pain- and fear-reducing experiences). Suicide-prevention campaigns and trainings need to include exploration of past exposure to trauma, physical violence, and risk-taking behaviors as well as access to means in training sessions so that trainees can better detect people with higher risk of suicide attempt.