Research Brief|Articles in Press

Control and Chaos: Caregiver's Basic Psychological Need Frustration is Associated With the Socioemotional Climate When Feeding

Published:March 08, 2023DOI:



      The socioemotional climate when feeding is a focus in childhood obesity prevention efforts. However, little is known about why caregivers create nonsupportive or supportive climates. This cross-sectional study used a Self-Determination Theory perspective to identify factors associated with the socioemotional climate when feeding in ethnically diverse families with low income.


      Caregivers of children aged 2–5 years (n = 66) completed the Parent Socioemotional Context of Feeding Questionnaire, the Basic Psychological Need (BPN) Satisfaction and Frustration Scale, and demographic surveys at baseline. Multivariable regressions assessed the association between BPN satisfaction/frustration with autonomy-supportive, structured, controlling, and chaotic feeding climates.


      Participants were predominately Hispanic/Latinx (86.6%), women (92.5%), and born outside the US (60%). Their BPN frustration was positively associated with controlling (β = 0.96; SE = 0.26; P = 0.001) and chaotic (β = 0.79; SE = 0.27; P = 0.01) feeding.

      Conclusions and Implications

      This analysis suggests that BPN frustration is associated with controlling and chaotic feeding and may be important to consider when encouraging responsive feeding.

      Key Words

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