The current investigation evaluated the efficacy of including parental problem-solving training in a behavioral weight-reduction program for obese children. Children and their parents were randomly assigned to a problem-solving, behavioral, or instruction-only weight-loss group. Children in the problem-solving group lost significantly more weight and decreased their percent overweight and body-mass indices significantly more during the 8-week treatment program than either behavioral or instruction-only subjects. These differences were maintained at the 3- and 6-month follow-up sessions. Only those parents in the problem-solving group significantly increased their problem-solving skills during the program. Child weight loss was significantly correlated with increases in parental problem-solving ability from pretreatment to posttreatment and from posttreatment to the 6-month follow-up. This evidence supports the conclusion that problem-solving training is a desirable addition to a behavioral weight-loss program for children.
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