About the Lab
The Hughes Lab focuses on examining parental socialization of children’s eating behaviors. The work we do in the lab targets parent-child relations during mealtimes and their impact on the development of child eating behaviors and subsequent obesity. As part of this research focus, we examine general and appetite regulation and their influence on the development of various child eating behaviors.
Our lab's research views childhood obesity from an ecological perspective, combining both well-established theoretical perspectives from developmental psychology and current knowledge regarding child nutrition. We have applied this perspective to diverse, underserved populations who are at a greater risk for developing obesity during childhood. These efforts are critical to the formulation of effective prevention approaches to obesity.
Our lab uses multiple methods to measure parent-feeding and child eating behaviors. We use both parent-report of their feeding and their child’s eating behavior as well as direct observation of these constructs. Our work focuses on families with low-income levels. Dr. Hughes and her team have worked with Head Start districts in Houston, Texas since 2001 and have an ongoing relationship with these districts.
Dr. Hughes has been the principal investigator on four large federally funded projects focusing on parenting/feeding and their implications for childhood obesity.