Fathers' Parenting Attitudes and Turkish Adolescents' Eating Behaviors and Emotion Regulation Skills

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Medha Talpade


Eating disorders are among the most prevalent psychiatric conditions in both developed and developing countries. In Turkey, eating disorders have been increasing in prevalence among adolescents. Family relations and parenting have been studied as sociocultural influences that shape individuals' eating behaviors and relationships with food. Eating behaviors have psychosocial outcomes for adolescents' development and are affected by parental warmth and care. This study investigated the relationship between fathers' parental attitudes and young individuals' emotion regulation skills and eating behaviors. It focused on fathers' parental attitudes in Turkey, where a collectivistic and patriarchal culture typically has father figures playing an important role in family as well as in society. The Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26), Difficulty in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), and Parental Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire-Child Form (PARQ-C) were used to collect data from 401 Turkish adolescents. Correlation analyses showed positive correlations between 2 combinations of variables: adolescents' eating behaviors and emotion regulation skills, and fathers' parenting and adolescents' eating behaviors. Multiple regression analysis showed that father's parenting was predictive of adolescents' eating behaviors and emotion regulation skills. Based on the results, this research may promote positive social change by identifying the importance of fathers' parenting attitudes on adolescent health and by raising awareness of eating disorders in Turkey. The study will guide researchers and counselors in designing eating disorders prevention programs and identify tools for involving fathers in developing healthy parenting attitudes and awareness of eating disorders.

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