Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Jou-Chen Chen

Second Advisor

Karen Blaisure


Childhood obesity is a health concern in the United States, putting children at risk for serious health problems. Although there has been significant research of childhood obesity, less is known about how eating behaviors and parenting styles of Hispanic and Latino parents impact the health problems (e.g., obesity) of children. Literature demonstrates that Latina and Mexican American cultures shape parents’ feeding practices but most research fails to recognize the contexts of feeding practices within Latino community (Slusser, Neumann, Cumberland, Renenger, Fischer, & Frankel, 2012). As such, the purpose of this study is to identify the use of different parenting styles and eating behaviors among migrant farm worker parents

This study used a quasi-experimental pre- and post-test research design to assess the effectiveness of a three-week nutrition course for migrant farm worker parents. Thirty-three migrant farm worker parents who reside in the state of Michigan and had children who attend to Telamon Sodus Migrant Head Start at Sodus, Michigan, were recruited for this study. Eight mothers (72.7 %) and three fathers (27.3%) with an average age of 30.64 (SD = 11.68) participated in this study. Results shows that, in this sample, mothers are likely to practice permissive parenting styles than fathers (p< .01). Results suggested an increase intake of healthy foods (e.g., fruits and vegetables) and a decrease intake of unhealthy foods (French fires) during the three-week nutrition course. These findings suggested the nutrition course to be effective; however, limitations of the study include the low number of participants and the need for survey questions to be culturally adaptive to reflect the authenticity of food preferences among Mexican and Latino families.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access