Family - based, community intervention s have been suggested as effective methods of modifying unhealthy behaviors of overweight children. To avoid unsuccessful completion rates, understanding motivating factors and potential barriers for participating families is important. The purpose of this study was to investigate influencing factors that either promote or deter successful completion of a childhood obesity intervention. In - depth interviews were conducted with 10 parents whose child participated in an intervention conducted in central Mississippi. Interviews were audio - taped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed by a two - person coding team. The research question driving this study was: What do parents perceive as motivators or barriers for completion of an intervention for childhood obesity? Motivating factors of parents included desire to reverse the family’s obesity cycle and desire for their child to realize full potential. They perceived their children were motivated by social aspects of the group setting, improved self - confidence, and supportive staff. Scheduling conflicts and lack of complete family support were identified as main barriers. By understanding the experience of parents, programs can tailor instructive materials to meet family needs throughout the intervention. Emphasis should be placed on parental education for sustained promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Continued support and follow - up are also warranted to ensure long - term success


Parental Perspectives, Childhood Obesity Intervention, Family - based Intervention, Community - Based Intervention, Phenomenology, Childhood Obesity


We would like to acknowledge Dr. Cory Smith for assisting as peer coder. We would like to acknowledge Debra Gallaway, Dr. Tina Martin, and Mark Gray for reviewing and editing the manuscript. We would also like to acknowledge the community organizations, volunteers, Beth Woodcock, Jessica Malone, and the rest of the staff at Beyond Therapy Pediatric Group for their commitment to The Youngest Loser program and the health of children in Mississippi.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.