Research Article| Volume 54, ISSUE 9, P808-817, September 2022

Emotion Regulation Moderates the Associations of Food Parenting and Adolescent Emotional Eating



      To explore parental feeding practices and eating behavior as predictors of the child's emotional eating (EE) and child's emotion regulation (ER) as a potential moderator.


      Parental eating behavior (emotional, external, and restrained eating), 9 parental feeding practices (restriction, food as reward, food as ER, monitoring, healthy modeling, healthy environment, child control, and child involvement), ER, and EE were analyzed cross-sectionally and 5 parental practices longitudinally (subsample, n = 115).




      Two hundred eighteen adolescents (aged 13.7 ± 1.77 years) and parent dyads.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Child's EE.


      Linear regression and moderation (cross-sectional) and linear mixed models (longitudinal). Models adjusted for multiple testing with a false discovery rate of 10% (Benjamini-Hochberg), age, sex, body mass index, socioeconomic status, and cohort.


      Cross-sectionally but not longitudinally, there was a positive association between predictors restriction and monitoring with the outcome child's EE (β = 0.19, P = 0.006; β = 0.17, P = 0.01, respectively). Restrained eating of the parent was negatively associated with the child's EE (β = −0.22, P = 0.003). The child's maladaptive ER significantly moderated the associations of 5 feeding practices and parental EE with the child's EE.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Parents continue to play a role in the eating behavior of their adolescent offspring, not only through their feeding practices (restrictive parenting was most detrimental) but also by displaying restrained eating (beneficial). A child's ER appears as an important moderator of the established associations; however, more research is needed to better understand these observations.

      Key Words

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      Linked Article

      • Advancing Nutrition Education and Behavior
        Journal of Nutrition Education and BehaviorVol. 54Issue 9
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          I know this issue highlights some unique advances in nutrition education and behavior research, and I know you will agree with me as you read through this issue! We may know anecdotally that we eat differently when we are stressed or mad or sad. That's where all those comfort foods come in. However, Klosowska et al1 take the anecdotal to the scientific inquiry level for adolescent emotional eating. These authors examined how the parents’ feeding practices and eating behaviors were associated with the adolescents’ emotional eating and emotional regulation.
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