Considering the college years are considered a critical time in one’s life for changes in diet and exercise behavior and an increase in weight gain, this study explored the significant and impactful communication between college students and their parents during this transitional period. Using open-ended responses to an online questionnaire (N = 222), we explored the Memorable Messages (Knapp, Stohl, & Reardon, 1981) college students recall receiving from their parents about overweight and obesity. Students’ responses demonstrate that not only is weight a difficult topic to talk about, but it is also a difficult issue for people to manage on an individual basis. Students gave examples of messages and conversations referencing their own and their parents’ struggles with weight, and their responses illustrate the complex nature (i.e., emotions, interpretations of compliments versus criticism) of these important communication episodes.
Thompson, Charee M. and Zaitchik, Sarah T.
"Struggling with the Freshman Fifteen: College Students’ Recollections of Parents’ Memorable Messages about Weight,"
Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research:
Vol. 11, Article 4.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/kaleidoscope/vol11/iss1/4