​Health Behavior Change for Children and Parents

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Health Behavior Change for Children and Parents

For professionals within the health psychology field, it is important to consider that there are many population subgroups of children, and each has unique issues and attributes that must be considered when planning for health behavioral change. Some groups may readily come to mind, such as various cultural or ethnic groups. It is important to realize, however, that there are many other groups of children, such as ones based on disabilities (e.g., physical or mental disabilities), gender, and age group (e.g., infants, toddlers, preschool, school aged, and adolescents). Also, the parents’ characteristics may lead to relevant subgroups of children that should be considered, such as the parents’ sexual orientation and occupation (e.g., military, police officers, and medical personnel). Such subgroups may be considered as the basis for interventions or they may be included in interventions targeted for a large group of children. Either way, it is important to keep in mind that as minors, parents must be included in each step of a child’s health behavior change program. Thus, intervention information must appeal to both the children and the parents.

“Total Package Weight Loss”

Participants in this weight loss program attend a bootcamp for anywhere from one to eight weeks, depending upon weight loss and fitness goals. During their stay, participants eat meal proportions and food types custom-tailored to their needs, and also participate in six to eight hours of workout/exercise each day. Educators and medical professionals are on hand to supervise the process, educate clients, and monitor vital statistics. Clients have the opportunity to socialize with others in the evenings and form friendships that will serve as support groups throughout the process.

For this Discussion, you consider programmatic considerations for children and their parents. Study the following hypothetical weight loss program, and consider how you could change this program so that it would be useful for children and parents.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 an explanation of why the program might be useful for children and parents. Then describe three possible challenges of implementing the program with that group and explain any modifications you would make to the program for it to be most effective.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references from the Learning Resources.

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