About Family Matters

Email: Family1@umn.edu
Facebook: FamilyMatters Study
Phone: (612) 346 - 3793

Study Overview

A longitudinal, mixed-methods approach is being used in a two-phase study

Participant Overview

  • 5 to 7 year old children and their families were recruited from primary care clinics in the Twin Cities area
  • Families from the following races/ethnicities: White, American Indian, Latino, Hmong, Somali, and African American
Phase I

Phase I includes in-home observations of diverse families. Results from these observations will be used to inform the development of a culturally-appropriate survey for Phase II. Please see home visuals for home visit information. 


Phase I Home Visit Description
  • 150 family home visits, 25 families from each race/ethnicity were conducted
  • Family members played a “Family Matters” game developed by the researchers to measure interactions
  • Caretakers completed multiple ecological momentary assessment (EMA) mini-surveys for eight days. EMA asks about caretaker’s stress levels, feeding practices, modeling and etc. 
  • Caretaker and child provided eight days of accelerometry (physical activity) data
  • Height and weight data periodically collected on all family members 
  • Home food inventories
  • Three, 24-hour dietary recalls of target children
  • Caretakers completed a quantitative and qualitative survey. The qualitative survey asked questions of family meals, weight talk, and physical activity
  • Parent completed a qualitative survey

 Phase I Recruitment Visual

Phase II

A diverse sample of caregivers of children (5-7 years) completed a survey at two different time points. 

Phase II Study Description
  • 1,200 families recruited, 200 from each race/ethnicity, for the Phase II
  • Caretakers of the children 5-7 years old will complete a two time point survey measuring parent feeding practices, physical activity, child eating behavior, family dynamics, etc.
  • An up-too-date height and weight will be gathered from primary care clinics for the children
  • Caretakers will be asked to complete EMA in the form of three mini-surveys a day for seven days. EMA will measure construct such as parent stress, family meals, picky eating, etc.

For a complete visual of Phase I and Phase II study information please view: Phase I and Phase II Theoretical Model and Timeline.

Branching Studies

Family Matters: Child Development In-Person Visits

Notice: We will provide updates to families when we begin opening up our clinic for ancillary visits again. Thank you for your patience.


Caretakers and their children are invited to come into our clinic to complete a series of assessments. First, the caretakers will complete a consent form and an assessment of their child prior to the visit. During the visit, the child and their parent will have their height and weight recorded. Furthermore, the child will complete a math and reading assessment and a personal survey.

Information for parking:


Please park in the areas listed for research participants. A staff member will run a parking pass to your car. Please return the parking pass prior to leaving the lot.

UPDATE: Sunrise Plan for In-Person Visits