Web-Based Program Exposure and Retention in the Families Improving Together for Weight Loss Trial

Dawn K. Wilson, Allison M. Sweeney, Lauren H. Law, Heather Kitzman-Ulrich, Ken Resnicow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background Interventions that incorporate behavioral skills training and parental involvement have been effective for promoting weight loss among middle and upper class youth; however, few studies have produced similar weight loss effects in underserved ethnic minority youth. Purpose This study examined whether online program exposure (in both an online tailored intervention and an online health education comparison program) predicted greater retention among African American youth and their parents in the Families Improving Together (FIT) for Weight Loss trial. Methods Parent-adolescent dyads (N = 125) were randomized to either an online tailored intervention program (n = 63) or an online health education comparison program (n = 62). Paradata including login data were used to determine the number of sessions viewed (0-8) and the number of minutes spent online per session. Study retention, defined as collection of adolescent anthropometric measures at 6 months postintervention, was the outcome. Results Logistic regression analyses showed a significant effect for login rate on retention (OR = 1.21, 95% CI [1.04, 1.39]). Total number of sessions viewed, child age, child sex, parent age, and parent sex accounted for 11% of the variance in retention at 6 months postintervention. Participants who were retained spent a significantly greater number of minutes during each session (M = 12.99, SD = 11.63) than participants who were not retained (M = 7.77, SD = 11.19), t(123) = 2.24, p = .027, d = 0.45. Conclusions The use of paradata from online interventions is a novel and feasible approach for examining exposure in web-based interventions and program retention in underserved ethnic minority families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-404
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 20 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • African Americans
  • Cultural tailoring
  • Online interventions
  • Retention
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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