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Home is Where the Health is: Investigating Family Stress and Cardiometabolic Health Among Families with Preschool-Aged Children

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dc.contributor.advisor Ma, David Hruska, Valerie 2021-09-10T21:10:17Z 2021-08-30 2021-08-30 2020-06-19
dc.description.abstract The home environment is a key determinant of family health, and chronic stress within the home may influence the health of parents and children. Past research has investigated the relationship between family stress and biomarkers such as adiposity as well as health-related behaviours such as food-related practices among families with older and adolescent children. However, less is known about these phenomena among families with preschool-aged children, and few family health studies actively include fathers. This thesis aimed to examine cross-sectional associations between family stress levels and cardiometabolic health among preschool-aged children and their parents. Specifically, biomarkers of adiposity, blood pressure, circulatory lipids, glucose metabolism and inflammation were assessed. Additionally, inflammatory potential of the diet was used as a proxy for inflammatory risk. This thesis also explored the implications of an existing family-based health promotion intervention for stress levels within the home. It was found that stress within the home was adversely associated with parents’ cardiometabolic health factors, specifically adiposity, inflammation, and dietary predictors of inflammation. No associations were seen among children, indicating a level of protection or buffering from parent-perceived stress. No substantial changes in family stress levels were observed as a result of participating in the health intervention up to one year follow-up, indicating that this intervention was not overly burdensome for families but also that specific strategies for improved stress management may need to be included in health interventions to address families’ needs. Collectively, these findings indicate that stress in the home environment may be a particularly powerful target for improving parent cardiometabolic health, but perhaps less so for preschool-aged children. Future longitudinal and experimental research exploring stress within the home in the context of promoting health and wellbeing among families with young children is warranted. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Guelph en_US
dc.rights Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International *
dc.rights.uri *
dc.subject stress en_US
dc.subject health en_US
dc.subject diet en_US
dc.subject family en_US
dc.subject children en_US
dc.subject mental health en_US
dc.subject inflammation en_US
dc.subject metabolism en_US
dc.subject metabolic syndrome en_US
dc.subject obesity en_US
dc.title Home is Where the Health is: Investigating Family Stress and Cardiometabolic Health Among Families with Preschool-Aged Children en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Human Health and Nutritional Sciences en_US Doctor of Philosophy en_US Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences en_US
dc.description.embargo 2022-08-30
dcterms.relation Hruska, V., Darlington, G., Haines, J., & Ma, D. W. L. (2020). Parent stress as a consideration in childhood obesity prevention: Results from the Guelph Family Health Study, a pilot randomized controlled trial. Nutrients, 12(6), 1835. en_US University of Guelph en_US

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International