Parental support and adolescent motivation for dieting: The self-determination theory perspective

Idit Katz, Nir Madjar, Adi Harari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This article focuses on parents role in overweight adolescents motivation to diet and successful weight loss. The study employed Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as the theoretical framework (Deci & Ryan, 2000, 2011). Ninety-nine participants (ages 20-30) who had been overweight during adolescence according to their Body Mass Index (BMI mean = 25, SD = 1.6), completed retrospective questionnaires about their motivation to diet and their parents behavior in the context of dieting. Findings from a structural equation modeling analysis suggested that participants who viewed their parents as more need-supportive demonstrated more autonomous motivation to diet, which, in turn, contributed to their successful weight loss. The findings highlight the importance of parental support of adolescents psychological needs in the quality of their motivation to diet. This is an important insight for parents and professionals who aim to encourage more constructive parent involvement in adolescents dieting and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-479
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Issue number5
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Adolescents' dieting
  • Autonomous motivation
  • Parents' support
  • Self-Determination Theory


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