Balancing Family-work Priorities: Time Demands, Coping Strategies, and Eating Behaviours in Families With Working Parents
A.M. Haase1, S. Culmer1
1Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, School for Policy Studies, UK
Background: Working parents experiencing time scarcity use food coping strategies to manage balance between work and family roles, potentially making more poor nutritional choices for their families. This study aimed to determine associations between working parents' time demands, parents' food coping strategies and their children's eating behaviour. Methods: A cross-sectional design; 53 parents of children aged 0-11 years completed measures on time demands, food coping strategies, their own and their child's food choices and meal patterns. Correlation and regression analyses were used to determine contributions to eating behaviour. Results: Mothers' time demands were associated with lower child fruit (r=-.30, p<0.05)and child vegetable intake (r=-.34, p<0.05), reduced child healthy eating (r=-.52, p<0.01), and mothers' higher missing of meals (r=.38, p=0.05) and poor meal planning (r=-.34, p=0.05), while mothers' food coping strategies contributed to children eating on their own (?=-0.37; p=0.01). Discussion: Working parents' perceptions of time scarcity and demands likely contribute to poorer family eating behaviour choices and meal patterns, suggesting perceptions of time scarcity may be an important factor counterbalancing more positive determinants of change and may need to be considered when applying current coping and behaviour change models to intervening with eating patterns and food choices.