Thesis topic: A Cross-Cultural Investigation of the Intergenerational Transmission of Eating Behaviour: A Family Interview Study

Primary supervisor: Professor Carlene Wilson


Overweight and obesity have been shown to increase the risk for a range of chronic diseases. Adopting a healthy diet is one way to reduce this risk and is therefore the focus of many obesity prevention efforts. Genetic and environmental risk factors for overweight and disease cluster in families, making family groups an important target for dietary-focused disease prevention. This project, through family interview, will provide additional insight into the research and intervention of a larger study.


This project aims to recruit families from three culturally diverse Australian groups to participate in a 2-part family interview study. Each family network will consist of a minimum of 5 members; a child aged 8-16 years, a parent, and a grandparent, as well as a second parent, a sibling, a grandparent or a relative once removed (e.g., uncle, cousin). Two sets of family interviews will be conducted 6 months apart. Interviews will be undertaken within the family home using procedures described in previous research (Hennink, Hutter, & Bailey, 2011; Krueger & Casey, 2009). The researchers will facilitate discussions between family members about their own food choices and those of all family members (present and absent). Additional topics about food preparation and shopping for food will also be discussed. The study will be a mixed methods design, such that both qualitative and quantitative analyses of the results will be made.


Hennink, M., Hutter, I., & Bailey, A. (2011). Qualitative reseach methods. London: SAGE.

Krueger, R. A., & Casey, M. A. (2009). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.