Early feeding, child behaviour and parenting as correlates of problem eating

Adamson, Michelle and Morawska, Alina (2017) Early feeding, child behaviour and parenting as correlates of problem eating. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26 (11). pp. 3167-3178. ISSN 1062-1024


Mealtimes are a common source of stress for
families. Examining factors related to problem eating may
provide markers by which to identify families requiring
assistance and salient targets for treatment. The current
study investigated parenting practices and cognitions, generalization of child behavioural issues, and early feeding history as they relate to problem eating in typically developing young children. We compared a community sample of 105 parents of 1.5–6-year-old children via survey and observation with 96 parents seeking treatment for their child’s problem eating. History of problems with breastfeeding, χ2(1) = 3.88, p = .049, and the transition to solids, χ2(1) = 7.27, p = .007, were more common among problem eaters than comparisons. Problem eaters had a greater number of problem behaviours outside of mealtimes, F(1181) = 10.88, p = .001, though not more frequently than comparisons and not to clinical levels, F(1181) = 1.81,p = .181. Parents of problem eaters reported more unhelpful mealtime parenting strategies, F(1155) = 22.59, p < .001, yet general parenting style was similar by group, F(1187) = 0.42, p = .527. Parents’ cognitions about mealtimes, F(1155) = 119.81, p < .001, including mealtime-specific self-efficacy, F(1155) = 171.30, p < .001, were poorer amongst problem eaters, and were the only factors to predict problem eating in the total sample. General parenting self-efficacy was poorer in parents of problem eaters (Behaviour: F(1187) = 42.36, p < .001; Setting: F(1187) = 10.64, p = .001). Evidence of feeding issues in infancy may support early detection of and intervention for later problem eating. The significance of broader child behaviour is less clear. Parent factors, particularly those specific to mealtimes, and cognitive in nature (including mealtime parenting self-efficacy) clearly differentiated the groups, and represent important targets for intervention.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 33825
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 01:49
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2018 04:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: feeding, child, parent, mealtimes, behaviour
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920501 Child Health
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s10826-017-0800-y
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33825

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only