Purpose: Recent studies suggest that parents maintain influence as their adolescents transition into college. Advances in communication technology make frequent communication between parents and college students easy and affordable. This study examines the protective effect of parent-college student communication on student eating and physical activity behaviors. Methods: Participants were 746 first-year, first-time, full-time students at a large university in the United States who completed a baseline and 14 daily web-based surveys. Results: On days when students communicated with their parents for 30 minutes or more, they consumed fruits and vegetables, an additional 14%, more times and were 50% more likely to engage in 30 minutes or more of physical activity, consistent with a protective within-person effect. Conclusions: Encouraging parents to communicate with their college-aged children could improve these students' daily eating and physical activity behaviors and should be explored as a relatively easy and affordable component of a student preventive intervention.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health