It is important to understand theoretically based support behaviors that can promote healthy eating and active living among Mexican-heritage mothers. This study examined the relationship between maternal self-regulation (the capacity to plan, guide, and monitor one’s behavior flexibly in the face of changing circumstances) and use of parenting strategies among mothers residing along the Texas-Mexico border. Mothers (n = 116) were recruited from three geographic regions within Hidalgo County, Texas. A 21-item survey was administered to measure self-regulation through goal setting and limit setting. The Parenting Strategies for Eating and Activity Scale (PEAS) was used to measure parenting strategies such as limit setting, discipline, monitoring, and control. Pearson correlations and multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify relationships between self-regulation (goal setting and impulse control) and parenting strategies. Sociodemographic characteristics of mothers are also reported. On average mothers were 36 years old (SD = 7.44), married (82%), identified as Mexican (90%), and had fewer than 9 years of education (68%). Pearson correlations revealed goal setting to be positively associated with limit setting (r = .246, p < .001), control (r = .203, p = .03), and monitoring (r = .336, p < .001). Regression analyses revealed limit setting (β = .246, p < .001), control (β = .203, p = .03), and monitoring (β = .336, p < .001) as parenting strategies that were associated with goal setting (R2 = 0.12). Findings suggest that programs should include goal setting to facilitate use of parenting strategies to support healthy behaviors that promote healthy eating and physical activity. Emphasizing malleable behaviors rather than deficits in parenting strategies could allow for higher receptivity to behaviors that can promote health in a family context.

Author ORCID Identifier


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License