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Predictors of Paternal and Maternal Controlling Feeding Practices with 2- to 5-year-old Children

  • Emma Haycraft
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Emma Haycraft, PhD, Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK; Phone: +44(0)1509 228160; Fax: +44(0)1509 223940
    Affiliations
    Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
    Search for articles by this author
  • Jackie Blissett
    Affiliations
    School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
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Published:March 03, 2011DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2010.03.001

      Abstract

      Objective

      This study aimed to identify predictors of controlling feeding practices in both mothers and fathers of young children.

      Design

      Cross-sectional, questionnaire design.

      Setting

      Nursery schools within the United Kingdom recruited participants.

      Participants

      Ninety-six mothers and fathers comprising 48 mother-father pairs of male and female children aged 2 to 5 years.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Parents' child feeding practices, eating psychopathology, general mental health symptomology, and their children's eating behaviors and temperament.

      Analysis

      Preliminary correlations; stepwise regressions.

      Results

      Maternal controlling feeding was predicted by children's eating behaviors (emotional over- and undereating), child temperament (sociability), and maternal general mental health symptoms. Paternal reports of children's eating behaviors (slow eating and emotional undereating) were the only significant predictors of fathers' controlling feeding practices.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Mothers' and fathers' feeding practices seem to be better linked to child characteristics than to the presence of eating psychopathology symptoms. Children's emotional eating predicted all 3 controlling feeding practices in mothers and warrants further study to elucidate the causal nature of this relationship.

      Key Words

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