The Socioecology of Child Health: Rural and Minority Childhood Obesity Prevention in the US

[Speaker] Mckyer, Lisako J:1
1:Texas A & M University (United States of America)

For many conditions, children's health status is highly contingent upon contextual factors. Children's interactions as biological and psychological entities, with their social and built environments heavily influences to their physical and psychological health outcomes. Inequities in meso- and macro-level ecological factors impact micro-factors (i.e., intra individual), and contributes to exacerbating child health disparities. This segment provides an overview of psychological theories' contributions to the socioecological framework (SEF) as applied toward public health issues and health disparities. A SEF-based research study on childhood overweight and obesity prevention will be presented. Parents (N=298) of racially diverse children in rural school districts were recruited to participate in a school-based study. Parent completed 197-item questionnaires related to physical activity (PA), food/nutrition preferences and behaviors, screen time, psychological and sociodemographic factors. Protocol details and key findings will be shared. Implications for psychology-based research and practice in SEF-based, context-specific, culturally-relevant public health approaches will be presented.
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