Over the past several years, we’ve published a few papers related to family engagement, initiation, and attrition in pediatric weight management. As this area of study has matured, investigators are taking a bigger picture view of these issues.
For instance, a recent paper by James Nobles (a UK-based PhD student working with Paul Gately) and colleagues considered both traditional individual (e.g., ethnicity) and contemporary contextual factors (e.g., size of group) in explaining variability in family engagement in a community-based sample of children (n~3,000) enrolled in MoreLife, a family-based program for children with overweight or obesity.
While individual factors provided some explanatory power, the ‘bigger picture’ characteristics of the program, including group size, time of year, and program year (as the program was scaled up in the community) were stronger predictors of engagement. The findings were clear – context mattered.