Introduction: The purpose of this study is to explore what happens within families in which a child participates in a pediatric weight management program for the treatment of overweight or obesity and identify strategies and processes for successful weight management.

Method: A qualitative approach was used to collect data from seven families. Individual interviews were conducted with parents, target children, and siblings. Data was analyzed within families and compared between families.

Results: Grounded theory analysis revealed three major essential themes: Shared Burden, Family Congruence, and Collaboration. Descriptive analysis was used to identify recommendations for improving family based weight management programs. Descriptive analysis uncovered seven themes related to child and family needs during the process of developing healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Discussion:The results of this study indicates that parents, children and siblings in families in which one of the children are in a weight management program experience various stressors and sufferings in their efforts to adhere to program interventions. It is postulated that successful weight management lifestyle change is dependent, in part on successful family system functioning. These results have implications for health care providers who partner with families to find healthier lifestyles.


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Susanne Montgomery

Second Advisor

Patti Herring

Third Advisor

Paul Rosenblatt

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Obesity -- prevention & control -- child; Obesity -- epidemiology -- United States; Health Behavior; Child Nutrition; Weight Perception; Body Weight -- child; Family Health -- examination questions; Program Evaluation.



Page Count

xi; 148

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives