Aim: This review investigated the parental perceptions of their child's obesity including theoretical perspectives that have been used to explore and understand the phenomenon. Design: Integrative review of empirical and theoretical literature. Methods: The CINAHL, PsychINFO, and SocINDEX databases were used to conduct a literature search of the terms “parental perception and childhood obesity”. Search requirements were indicated full text academic journals with a timeline of 2000-2013. Both quantitative and qualitative articles that focused on participant perceptions were viewed. Among the 127 articles, there was only one that defined the term “parental perception of childhood obesity” and another article defined the term “parental perception”. A possible clarification for why none of the articles clearly defined “perception” may be an underlying assumption that the reader simply understood the term. Results: The results of these studies indicate that a large percentage of parents do not perceive their children to be overweight or obese. Parental beliefs regarding childhood obesity, parental weight status, and parental educational level may influence parents’ perceptions of their children’s weight. Moreover, from the synthesis of the literature, the father’s role has been underrepresented in child health research. Conclusion: Future research is required to validate the conceptual deÃ¯Â¬Ânition of parental perception and encourage father involvement in childcare. Such research will enable nurses to assist parents to improve the health outcomes for their children by developing effective strategies to manage and prevent childhood obesity.
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