Jordan University of Science and Technology

Maternal Sociodemographic Characteristics and Behaviors as Correlates of Preadolescent's Breakfast Habits

Authors:  Reem A. Ali a, Nadin M. Abdel Razeq, Karimeh M. Alnuaimi , Fatmeh A. Alzoubi

Purpose: To explore factors affecting skipping breakfast rate, and to identify its perceived reasons among preadolescent students and their mothers in Jordan. Design and Methods: Using cluster stratified sampling, preadolescent (10?11 years) students (N = 1915) and their mothers (N=1299) from 26 public and private schools completed a self-reported questionnaire. Breakfast skipping and its related habits were described. Children's and mothers' perceptions of regular breakfast eating and sociodemographic factors were analyzed in relation to breakfast skipping in children. Results: Although the majority of both children and mothers perceived breakfast as very important, 23% of the children and mothers reported skipping breakfast. Male students skipped breakfast more than female students. Students whose mothers had a low level of education and students with a low value of breakfast consumption had a higher likelihood of skipping breakfast. Mothers' high value of breakfast and encouragement of children to eat breakfastwere directly related to an increase in children's perceived importance of breakfast consumption. Preadolescents' and mothers' perceptions of the importance of breakfast and mothers' encouragement to eat breakfast were significant predictors of breakfast consumption among students. Conclusion: The high prevalence of breakfast skipping among students, and knowledge about association between mothers' perceived importance of breakfast consumption and encouragement highlighted the pivotal role of mothers in preadolescent's breakfast consumption. Practical implications: The findings suggest that health care providers, including school health practitioners, are recommended to assess children's and mothers' perceived value of breakfast and to include mothers in health promotion interventions on breakfast consumption.