Promoting healthy home environments and lifestyles in families with preschool children: HomeStyles, a randomized controlled trial

Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Jennifer Martin-Biggers, Gayle Alleman Povis, John Worobey, Nobuko Hongu, Virginia Quick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The purpose of the HomeStyles randomized controlled trial was to determine the effect of participation in the HomeStyles intervention vs an attention control condition on the weight-related aspects of the home environment and lifestyle behavioral practices of families with preschool children. Parents of preschool children (n = 489) were systematically randomized to experimental or attention control group after completing the baseline survey. Baseline and post surveys comprehensively assessed study outcomes using a socio-ecological approach incorporating valid, reliable intrapersonal (e.g., diet, activity), interpersonal (e.g., family meal frequency), and environmental measures (e.g., home media environment), and self-reported parent and child measured heights and weights. For all outcome measures, paired t-tests compared within group differences over time and ANCOVA, controlling for baseline scores and prognostic variables (e.g., parent sex), determined differences in post survey scores between groups. The final analytical sample (N = 172; age 32.34 ± 5.71SD; 58% White; 93% female) completed baseline and post surveys. The experimental group families had improved family meal and diet-related behaviors, and self-efficacy for food-related childhood obesity-protective practices. Household food supplies changed little, except for less availability of salty/fatty snacks. Within group effects indicated the control group also experienced some improvements, however these were few in number. ANCOVA revealed the experimental group parents had greater physical activity, reduced screentime, improved family mealtime behaviors, and increased self-efficacy for childhood obesity-protective behaviors and cognitions compared to the control group at post survey, though effect sizes were small. The HomeStyles program for families with preschool children promoted improvements in an array of obesity-preventive behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
StatePublished - Jan 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Healthy
  • Home environment
  • Intervention
  • Lifestyles
  • Parents
  • Preschool children


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