Examining the health habits of teens and their parents

The Challenge 

What influence does home environment, neighborhood, and the wider community have on diet and exercise habits of today’s teenagers?

How do parents’ and teens’ attitudes toward healthy foods affect what they eat?

What are the psychosocial, intergenerational, and environmental factors related to cancer-preventive behaviors, including diet and physical activity, sleep, sun safety, and tobacco use?

Our Solutions 

  • The National Cancer Institute (NCI) had Westat conduct the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) study, a one-time survey of a nationally representative sample of 12- to 17-year-olds paired with a parent.
  • A total of 5,000 adolescent/parent pairs were recruited using a screener we helped develop.
  • After recruiting the pairs, Westat conducted 4 web surveys—2 with adolescents and 2 with parents—on physical activity and diet.
  • In a motion sensor study of a subsample of 1,500 adolescents, we asked teen participants to wear an accelerometer for 1 week.
  • We provided a final data set and created a public-use data set for NCI. In addition, we are expanding the FLASHE data set by conducting geospatial analysis and creating spatial and contextual variables for NCI use.

The Results 

  • Study findings will allow NCI and the larger scientific community to better understand the ways in which parent-teen relationships affect health behaviors related to cancer prevention.

Our Client 

National Cancer Institute (NCI)